As supplier to residential, industry, power and transportation sectors, the oil and gas industry is heavily affected by developments in these sectors. In the European power markets, natural gas fired stations are currently challenged by changing demand and supply patterns. Power generated from renewable sources, developing end-user energy systems and demand management tools challenge traditional large scale base-load suppliers. However, more efficient and responsive gas-fired power plants can offer flexible and necessary supply, interplaying with renewables and battery technologies in dynamic power markets.
Decarbonisation of fossil fuels calls for low-emission technologies, such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage-solutions (CCUS). So far, CCUS-concepts are mainly implemented in non-power, oil and gas applications. Statoil foresees further decarbonisation potentials in non-power segments such as heating and transportation through steam reforming of natural gas to hydrogen and handling of CO2. Statoil has already a broad CCUS-experience, after 20 years of CO2-operations in the North Sea as well as long-lasting R&D efforts on all parts of the CCS value chain technologies. A full-chain CCS-project is currently under way in Norway with storage solutions proposed by Statoil. This project may represent a re-assessment of business models for CCS and be a marker for CCS as a low carbon tool for fossil fuels.
All in all, main technologies relevant for natural gas conversion and decarbonisation, including CCS and CO2-utilization, are available. Many of these are still costly and not demonstrated at large scale. Statoil believes that changing energy markets and regulations and proactive changing policy support and funding regimes could enable and accelerate deployment of low-carbon natural gas based projects across various market segments building a sustainable future gas business. For Statoil, the "green gas" opportunities are already here and will be important for the long term natural gas share of the energy mix.