Norwegian leaders called to parliamentary hearing on Mongstad debacle


The CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) Test Centre at Mongstad in Norway (TC Mongstad) was intended to eventually become a full-scale CCS demonstration site. Since the announcement in the autumn of 2013 that these plans would be scrapped, project initiators and managers have faced fierce criticism.

Although the new Norwegian government has confirmed that TC Mongstad will at least continue as a high-end test centre, both old and current ministers will face questioning on January 22 and 23 during a parliamentary hearing of the control and constitutional committee. Bellona President Frederic Hauge will also be in attendance.

Those responsible for the mismanagement which led to a serious reduction in ambition levels for the much needed demonstration of CCS, will now have to answer for their actions.

The hearing will be the second largest hearing in Norwegian history, including former prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, who rather infamously announced the start of Mongstad project as Norway’s equivalent of the US ‘moon landing’. Stoltenberg was recently appointed the United Nation’s new climate envoy and says he is looking forward to explaining himself at the hearing, maintaining that the intention of moving CCS forward has been achieved. Only days before the announcement of the Mongstad cancellation, the Office of the Auditor General of Norway published a report calling the management of Mongstad ‘wretched’.

The following will attend the hearing on Monday January 20:

  • Former prime minister Jens Stoltenberg
  • Sintef
  • Bellona, with Frederic Hauge
  • Zero, with Marius Holm.
  • Petoro AS by board leader Gunnar Berge and former board leader Bente Rathe
  • Statoil ASA by CEO Helge Lund
  • Gassnova SF by board leader Einar Steensnæs and former board leader Johan Nic. Vold

On Thursday January 23: 

  • Former director in Aker Clean Carbon AS, Liv Monica Stubholt
  • Aker Solutions ASA by acting board leader Øyvind Eriksen
  • Alstom Norge AS by adm. director Eric Staurset
  • Sargas AS by board leader Henrik Fleischer
  • Former petroleum and energy minister Odd Roger Enoksen
  • Former petroleum and energy minister Åslaug Haga
  • Former petroleum and energy minister Terje Riis-Johansen
  • Former petroleum and energy minister Ola Borten Moe
  • Petroleum and energy minister Tord Lien