Equinor ASA announced today that they are postponing an investment decision on the Wisting oil field in Norway and reconsidering the project until 2026. Wisting could have become the largest single Norwegian oil asset approved by the government this decade by size of reserves.
Equinor has faced intense scrutiny from the Norwegian Environmental Authorities due to lacking environmental impact statements.
“Today’s decision shows that global pressure on Equinor is working to abandon these climate destroying projects and instead go 100% renewable. If Equinor is being criticized in Norway for their oil and gas expansion plans, for their environmental standards and the economic viability of this project, then why would we trust them to develop fields in Canada like Bay du Nord where there is a significant chance of a serious oil spill and it could take over a month to get a capping stack on site,” says Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation.
“It shows that Norway is realizing that these oil projects do not have a real future,” says Conor Curtis, Head of Communications with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “My concern is that Newfoundland and Labrador might still choose to invest in Bay du Nord despite that, or give special favours to Equinor, to encourage them to pursue a project that not only doesn’t have a real future but poses a great risk to the local environment and industries like fisheries that depend on that environment.”
The news comes as governments meet at the COP27 climate change conference. The Sierra Club Canada Foundation says that no new oil and gas projects like Bay du Nord or East Coast LNG can go ahead if we are to meet both national and international climate targets. They instead say a renewable energy future is necessary and Equinor should refocus its efforts towards local renewable energy investment in Canada and around the world.
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