A recent court ruling has declared three permits for developing new offshore oil and gas fields in Norway invalid, reported Reuters

The Oslo District Court determined that the environmental impact of the extracted fossil fuels was not adequately assessed, particularly concerning their future greenhouse gas emissions.  

Equinor and Aker BP’ fields are targeted by the lawsuit, which was initiated by Greenpeace and Nature and Youth. 

The fields in question – Breidablikk, Yggdrasil, and Tyrving – are estimated to hold reserves of approximately 875mboe.  

In a ruling, Judge Lena Skjold Rafoss said: “The court’s conclusion is that the decisions on the plan for the development and operation of petroleum deposits for Breidablikk, Yggdrasil and Tyrving are invalid.” 

The ruling stated that future emissions should have been considered during the approval process, referencing a Supreme Court decision from 2020. 

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By GlobalData

“An impact assessment ensures that dissenting voices are heard and considered, and that the decision-making basis is verifiable and available to the public,” it added. 

“This is important to safeguard democratic participation in decisions that may influence the environment.” 

The ruling specifically affects the three fields recently approved and does not extend to other activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.  

Norway’s Energy Minister, Terje Aasland, expressed the government’s disagreement with the verdict and mentioned the possibility of an appeal. 

In a statement to Reuters, Greenpeace Norway head Frode Pleym said: “This is a full and complete victory for the climate over Norway.” 

According to the court’s decision, operations at Breidablikk must cease by 31 December 2024.  

The development of the Tyrving and Yggdrasil fields has been ordered to stop.  

Breidablikk, which began production in October, was expected to reach a production plateau of 55,000–60,000 barrels per day between 2024 and 2026.  

The other two fields were scheduled to start production in 2025 and 2027. 

Equinor, although not a party in the case, has stated its expectation for Norwegian authorities to address the issue.  

Aker BP, responsible for Tyrving and Yggdrasil, has not commented on the ruling but noted that it is not yet final.  

Earlier this week, Norway awarded 62 exploration licences in the APA 23 round to 24 oil companies.