Climate Change in the North and the Oil Industry

FNI Report 9/2007. Lysaker, FNI, 2007, 21 p.

How will climate change affect oil industry operations in the High North? The report analyses impacts in the North that are different from, or come in addition to, the impacts felt globally, from two angles: one outlining climate-related changes in nature and their impacts on oil industry operations, and the second discussing actual and possible policy responses and their impact. 
Forecasts and scenarios developed by climate scientists indicate that the situation is volatile. The climate and weather will be less predictable. Although the long term tendency is clear, there will be large variations in ice from year to year, with some seasons colder and with more ice than what has been ‘normal’ in recent years. The industry cannot count on areas remaining ice-free, and when it comes to fixed installations it will have to prepare for a situation in 2030 with maximum ice not much different than today. Climate policies are not likely to have a strong direct impact on the operations of oil companies in the North, but the climate development in the North is likely to impact other political processes, public opinion and consumers. In turn they may affect industry operations. Thus there is an indirect link between the climate issue and the oil industry in the North.