Norway refuses to drill the Arctic. Check out the lobbies
Not drill the Arctic. Hard blow to the Norwegian oil industry by one of its most important political allies.
The opposition Labor Party; the country’s biggest force in the Parliament, which has always been a supporter of the sector; has decided to say no to oil exploration in the Norwegian Arctic.
A move that will make oil production in the area even more unlikely than it already was. In fact; the largest party in the Norwegian parliament has withdrawn support for exploratory drilling off the Lofoten islands; considered a natural wonder.
The country currently pumps over 1.6 million barrels of oil a day from its offshore activities. Norway’s largest producer; the state-owned company Equinor ASA; said that access to oil supplies in Lofoten is essential for the country to maintain production levels.
Puncture the ice
But the Labor Party’s decision creates a large parliamentary majority against oil exploration in the area. Confirming the growing opposition to fossil fuels, which have made the country one of the richest in the world.
It was announced by party leader Jonas Gahr Store; who however specified that the Labor Party will continue to be a supporter of the oil industry; but acknowledged that there is now a majority calling for change. For its part, it will continue to support the existing tax system which also includes reimbursement for exploration.
In the seabed of the Lofoten archipelago there should still be 1 to 3 billion barrels of oil. The area had already been kept safe from drilling by Norwegian coalition governments; through various political agreements but was not entirely safe.
Due to the growing concern about climate change; the Norwegian oil industry is getting less public support and legal threats from environmental groups. These challenges add to a lack of major projects since the beginning of the next decade.
Last week; the country also announced that Norway‘s oil companies will have to commit to making the operations completely emission-free.
“The whole industry is surprised and disappointed,” Karl Eirik Schjott-Pedersen, head of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, told Bloomberg.
The Lofoten Islands are a real paradise, one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights. Our photographer Virag Nobile also told us this with her splendid reportage and the images of the Northern Lights.