Oslo Energy Forum 2023

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland spoke at the Oslo Energy Forum on the 15th of february 2023.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland (Labour Party)
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland (Labour Party). Credit: OED/Stine Grimsrud

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to address you at the Oslo Energy Forum 2023 - the most important edition in its 50-year history.

Because, much has changed since 15th of February 2022, the last time this forum met.

A few days later, the situation in Europe was turned upside down, with Russia’s brutal and unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

In a time where war and energy is – rightfully - consuming most of our attention, we should not lose sight of the most fundamental long-term challenges we face:

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time as we secure enough energy for a globally growing population.

Navigating this double challenge is at the core of the energy transition.

And to be clear: High energy prices and a greater focus on energy security due to the war in Ukraine will not slow the long-term transition.

In such challenging times, my sincere hope for this forum is to address cooperation, across borders and between energy partners.

And not least, what we will discuss for the next hour:
How authorities and regulators should enable the energy transition.

As I said, international cooperation is crucial.

However, to reach our common goals, we have different starting points, and in some cases, we must choose different paths.

So, let me tell you about our approach to achieve the transition – the Norwegian way.

For instance, renewable power, which has been the very foundation for large part of Norwegian industries and households for decades.

This renewable power system is now under stress.

Since we entered office in October last year, our main focus has been to mitigate the effects from the high electricity prices, and its consequences on households and business.

In the longer run, we must facilitate for increased renewable production, strengthening the power grid and enhance energy efficiency.

Because we know demand for renewable power will rise, and we know it is essential to reduce emissions.

In that respect I am pleased to see the development of renewables also internationally.

According to the IEA, in the next five years, as much green energy will be developed as was done in the previous 20 years.

And a report from BloombergNEF earlier this month told us investments in renewable energy last year rose to another record, estimating it to approach half a trillion dollars for the first time.

These are positive developments.

Still, we know oil and gas will continue to play a role in the energy mix after 2050. And we know the crucial role it plays in Europe today.

The companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are producing near maximum capacity every day. Their efforts have led to a 10 per cent increase in last year`s production of natural gas provided to the European market. This equals around 100 Twh of energy.

We will continue to ensure decreasing emissions from the petroleum production.

Together with you in the industry we will strive towards cutting climate gas emissions by 50 per cent in this sector in Norway by 2030.

And not to forget, offshore competence and know-how from the oil and gas sector will contribute on the pathway to net zero.

Soon, I have been in office as Norway’s minister for Petroleum and Energy for a year.

During this year, I have had the privilege to visit and meet industries, businesses, and people along the coast.

Some call them offshore suppliers. I choose to call them solution suppliers.

They improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

They create welfare, values and energy for Europe when they need it the most.

And, they find new opportunities.

Whether it is carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, seabed minerals, or offshore wind.

So, to try to answer how politicians should enable the transition.

First, we must facilitate for these solutions, in a responsible and sustainable way, as we find our way to contribute to the energy transition.

And as important, Norway will stand by its partners in solving one of the greatest challenges of our generation, whether it is in climate or energy.

Cooperation, not isolation, is in our, Europe’s and the world’s long-term interest. To achieve the transition we want, and need.

Thank you!