Oil sands extraction in Canada
Lead NCPNorway
Supporting NCP(s)Canada
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by NGOs Norwegian Climate Network and Concerned Scientists Norway regarding the activities of Statoil ASA, a multinational enterprise operating in Canada.
Date28 Nov 2011
Host country(ies)Canada
Industry sectorMining and quarrying
StatusNot accepted

Read initial assessment and concluding statement issued by the Norwegian NCP - 13 March 2012

The Norwegian NCP received a request for review from Norwegian Climate Network and Concerned Scientists Norway alleging that Statoil ASA was breaching the environment provisions of the Guidelines due to its oil sands operations contributing to Canada’s violation of its international obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during 2008-2012.

The Norwegian and Canadian NCPs agreed that the Norwegian NCP would be the lead NCP for this specific instance however they consulted with the Canadian NCP on the initial assessment.

The Norwegian NCP Norway decided to reject the case on formal grounds, while underscoring the challenges that oil sands operations may pose to the climate and the environment.

NCP Norway's initial assessment concluded that the request, while concerning some of today’s most pressing issues, was directed towards Canada’s policy of allowing oil sands development rather than towards the manner in which Statoil has operated in the context of this policy.

The request did not therefore meet the criteria specified in the OECD Procedural Guidelines or fall clearly within the scope of the Guidelines and could not be accepted for further consideration.

In highlighting the risks associated with oil sands development, the NCP called particular attention to valid concerns about the current monitoring regime, that land reclamation is not keeping pace with land disturbance, as well as the long-term and cumulative regional effects on groundwater and air quality. All parties co-operated and engaged positively in the NCP process by readily providing information and comments to the NCP. The NCP offered its good offices by holding a meeting with the NGOs in August 2011 and by offering them the opportunity to further provide further information regarding their allegations in December 2011. The NGOs did not wish to heed this request.