Arctic oil heating Norwegian politics



The Norwegian oil minister’s decision to start looking for oil and gas in the Arctic waters of the Jan Mayen island has triggered harsh reactions both from environmentalists and from the parliament opposition.

Minister of oil and energy Terje Riis Johansen’s statement this week that Norway should start exploration the oil and gas resources around the Jan Mayen island in order to uphold Norwegian oil revenues, has spurred heated debate.

The Norwegian Arctic oil and gas resources, both around Jan Mayen and in the Lofoten area, now look set to become hot issues in the upcoming Norwegian parliament elections, due mid-September.

The oil minister’s announcement is a blow to government junior coalition partner Socialist Left Party, which long has called for a stop to hydrocarbon production in the north. Party representative Hallgeir Langeland admits to NRK that his party is strongly against exploration in the Arctic, but that is has had to compromise with the bigger and more powerful Labor Party.


Also read Norwegian oil exploration by Jan Mayen

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