An ExxonMobil refinery in Norway closed down in June 2021 due to the country’s stricter regulatory measures, Kaieteur News reported. Although this may be considered old news, there hasn’t been much reporting that I’m aware of on it.
The article noted that Exxon cited Norway’s evolving regulatory measures that govern the oil and gas industry among the reasons that it closed the refinery down. Norway has been pro-climate, and this has been especially reflected in its EV/auto market. Plugin vehicles were 86% of the country’s car sales in 2021, and full electrics alone were 64.5%. Tesla dominated, with the Model 3 and Model Y ending up being the two best selling vehicles in the country. That led to Tesla being the best selling brand in the auto market, surpassing Volkswagen.
Exxon was considering closing down its oil refinery in Norway in 2020. Esso, which is a trading name for Exxon, then said it was too early to say when a final decision would be made. A spokesperson told Reuters, “In practice, it means that we would stop producing oil products at the refinery and instead we will import them.”
The company also stated, “Refineries in Europe operate in an increasingly challenging market, characterized by falling demand and strong competition, leading to overcapacity in the market.”
That was in 2020. In July 2021, Argus Media reported that Exxon said that continuing the operation of the refinery “is not economically viable over the long term” because of “strong competition, evolving regulatory measures, and falling demand.”
Argus also added that around 60pc of Slagen’s products were exported and that it was the fifth European refinery to halt completely since the Covid-19 pandemic. This brings the lost crude distillation capacity to over 600,000 barrels per day (b/d).
Kaieteur News noted that the Slagen refinery that was closed was producing 120,000 b/d, and for now, Norway’s only refinery is the Mongstad plant, which is state-controlled and produces 200,000 b/d.