After 24 years, Denmark will start importing oil again, primarily due to lower production in the North Sea area.
2017 was the last year when Denmark was self-sufficient with oil. As oil production is expected to fall by 8 percent, Copenhagen will resume imports for the first time since 1993, the daily newspaper Berlingske reported.
The drop in production has been attributed to the reconstruction of the offshore platforms in the North Sea Tyra field, which was discovered in the 1960s and has been in use since the 1980s.Tyra field has long been plagued by a sinking seabed due to decades of oil production.
The reconstruction of the Tyra field, which is plagued by an insecure and descending seabed after several decades of gas production, will mean a decline in oil production by 2020 and 2021.
“This is a milestone. For a long time, we have been self-sufficient and produced more that we actually used. This has had an impact on Danish economy,” Nordea chief analyst Jan Størup Nielsen said. “We had a long period of time when we harvested big revenues for Denmark. This gave a good boost to public finances and a surplus of balance payments,” he added.
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In its updated forecast, the Danish Energy Agency has lowered future oil production by 8 percent compared with last year’s forecast.
“Although it is far from a catastrophe, it is a question of billions. They are going to be missing,” Jan Størup Nielsen explained.
While Denmark is predicted to remain a gas exporter until around 2035, the Danish Energy Agency wrote down its forecast of estimated oil reserves by four million cubic meters to 139 million cubic meters, which corresponds to 18 years of consumption.
According to the government’s plans, Denmark is to become carbon-neutral by 2050. This means that coal, oil and gas are allowed as long as an equivalent amount of green energy is produced for export. Both electricity generation and the heating sector have fundamentally changed over the past decades, with a marked shift toward the use of renewable energy and wind power.
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In 2008, Denmark ranked number 32 among net exporters of crude oil owing to its considerable resources in the North Sea distributed among 19 oil fields.