Environmental organizations and some stock analysts are complaining that troubled state oil company Equinor isn’t disclosing all its carbon emissions to the public and investors. Meanwhile, concerns over cost-cutting and a lack of maintenance at various facilities continue to rise, while Equinor itself has postponed a reopening of its Hammerfest LNG gas plant on the northern island of Melkøya.
State broadcaster NRK reported this week that Greenpeace and WWF are demanding disclosure of all emissions from every single oil and gas field, including those in the US. Equinor responds that it fully discloses emissions to local authorities, but the environmental groups claim they’re not accumulated on an international basis.
“The more transparency, the better,” agrees Jan Erik Saugestad of the Norwegian insurance and finance firm Storebrand. “All of our investments shall have zero emissions by 2050. In order to achieve that, the companies in which we invest (including Equinor) must have good reporting.” NRK has earlier reported that emissions from an Equinor operation in North Dakota never reached the market. Equinor reported this week that it has now sold out of its Bakken field operations in North Dakota and Montana, at a huge loss and after generating more than NOK 200 billion in losses in the US as a whole.
The company reported on Monday that the extent of work needed at Equinor’s Melkøya plant, site of a major fire last September, means it won’t reopen until March 31 next year. An investigation into the fire resulted in harsh criticism from Norway’s petroleum authority and prompted Professor Emeritus Jan Erik Vinnem of NTNU to tell newspaper DN that poor maintenance routines at Melkøya made the fire look like “a planned accident.” He also said it would be “naive” to think that the fire didn’t have anything to do with Equinor’s cost-cutting. Equinor claims nearly all preventive maintenance at Melkøya was “calendar-based” and that a “comprehensive improvement program addressing challenges” was underway.