EU’s Largest Oil Producer to End New Oil and Gas Exploration

EU’s Largest Oil Producer to End New Oil and Gas Exploration

Denmark will end all new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea as part of a wider plan to stop extracting fossil fuels by 2050. Denmark is currently the largest oil producer in the European Union, although it produces much less than non-EU members Norway or the UK.

The country pumped 103,000 barrels a day in 2019, according to analysis by UK oil giant BP. There are 55 drilling platforms on its territory, across 20 oil and gas fields.

The decision will cost Denmark about 13 billion kroner (£1.1bn), according to estimates by the energy ministry, though it said this amount was subject to substantial uncertainty.

Economic factors have played a role. Lower oil prices and higher costs have seen interest wane in the latest round of oil bloc tenders. Even so, about 4,000 jobs depend on the sector – mostly on Denmark’s west coast.

As part of the new plan, Denmark’s leaders say carbon capture and storage technology will be developed in the area, and new job creation will come from the country’s growing offshore wind sector.

Denmark aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 70% by 2030, as well as reach net zero emissions by 2050 – both targets which have been passed into law.