Independent oil producer Lundin Energy aims to make its operations carbon-neutral within four years, an achievement it claims would be a first for the upstream oil & gas sector.

The Swedish company, which is focused on the Norwegian North Sea, would achieve this goal by powering all of its offshore facilities via electrical cables from shore, alongside “investments in renewable energy to offset and replace the electricity we consume”.

The company owns half of the 77MW Leikanger hydro project in western Norway, which is due to completed in the middle of this year, and also has a 50% stake in the 132MW Metsälamminkangas onshore wind farm in Finland, which is due to become fully operational in early 2022.

Lundin is also spending $35m to plant about eight million trees between now and 2025 in order to offset any remaining carbon emissions from its operations.

By combining these “natural carbon capture projects” with its renewables facilities, “we can now achieve carbon neutrality from 2025; a first for the upstream industry, and showing we can deliver both profitable growth and environmental benefits,” said Lundin chief executive Nick Walker.

Of course, the oil that Lundin extracts from beneath the North Sea — which amounted to an average of 164,500 barrels per day in 2020 — will emit huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions when burned, but Lundin does not include these in its carbon-neutrality assessment.