Statoil loses in Alberta, wins big in North Sea

An Edmonton court was told on Wednesday that Norwegian energy giant Statoil will admit to some environmental infractions in relation to water use at its oil sands operations in northern Alberta.

The news comes on the same day that the state-owned company announces a North Sea oil field discovery with total yield of between 500 million and 1.2 billion barrels of oil, making it the largest discovery there in 30 years.

Around 70 oilfields are in production on the Norwegian continental shelf, producing some 2.1 million barrels per day. Canada’s oil sands produce 1.5 million bpd, a figure that is expected to more than double by the end of the decade.

Statoil was charged in February with 19 counts under provincial legislation for incidents between 2008 and 2009, in which water was allegedly improperly diverted for use in its Conklin facility. The company also faces three counts of providing false or misleading statements about the alleged activity in 2008 and 2009.

The Huffington Post quotes Crown prosecutor Susan McRory: “We’re looking at creative sentencing options.”

The Foreigner spoke to Tim Dodson, Statoil’s executive vice president for exploration: “Norway has not seen a similar oil discovery since the mid-’80s.”

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