Hoeven: North Dakota, Statoil a Key to Energy Security for U.S. and Allies, Can Help Create Jobs, Reduce Flaring

Company Investing $10 Billion in U.S., North Dakota between 2014 and 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) today was joined by Statoil Senior Vice President for Onshore Operations, Torstein Hole to showcase Statoil’s investments and operations in western North Dakota. Statoil, working with North Dakota and other partners, can help to create energy independence for the United States and reduce European reliance on Russian natural gas.

Hoeven was in Norway last week as part of a Senate delegation to Europe working to help build a long-term energy plan to help Ukraine and Europe deter Russian aggression. There, he met with high level Norwegian officials and executives from Statoil, an innovative, multinational, Norwegian oil and gas company with operations in 34 countries, including the United States.

Statoil and Norway are working hard to bring more natural gas to Europe, but they alone cannot solve the problem of Europe’s energy dependence on Russia; the United States also has a critical role to play, Hoeven said.

“The real, long-term solution is to make additional LNG supplies available, and this means the United States and North Dakota have a strong role to play as a world leader,” Hoeven said. “The United States produces 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually but consumes only 26 trillion cubic feet, meaning more could be captured and exported. We have a tremendous opportunity to help our allies, boost our economy, create jobs for our people and reduce flaring.”

Hoeven and Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced the Energy Security Act, which would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project and expedite permits to export LNG to our allies. The bill would create 100,000 jobs, boost the U.S. economy, reduce flaring and aid our allies in Ukraine, NATO and Japan.

Hoeven today announced that Statoil has already invested $8 billion in the Bakken and the company plans to invest $20 billion a year worldwide between 2014 and 2016 for a total of $60 billion. Up to a quarter of that funding will go to North America, including to the Bakken in North Dakota. Since 2011, the company has doubled production in the Williston Basin to about 50,000 barrels a day.

Statoil is not only producing more energy, but it is also using technology to do so with better environmental stewardship. For example, in partnership with General Electric, the company is beginning to implement Compressed Natural Gas (C.N.G.) in a Box, a novel technology that captures natural gas that would otherwise be flared and moves it by tank and truck to wherever it is needed. Some parts of the gas are shipped to processing plants and others are compressed and shipped to the oilfields. Several years ago Statoil converted its Bakken drilling fleet from diesel-powered to a bi-fuel system, enabling them to replace 50 percent of the diesel it uses on its rigs with less expensive, cleaner burning natural gas.