Norway’s new Government drops Lofoten oil | Barentsobserver

Liberal party and Christian Democratic party join new government and agree on stopping oil drilling in the most sensitive parts of Norway. As you may expect, environmental groups are pleased with this agreement. The Barents Observer go on to say:

“The new government [of Norway] will not go on with any planning or drilling in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja, and will not open for drilling in the areas around Jan Mayen or close to the ice-edge in the High Arctic. 

The Arctic waters already opened for oil and gas planning and development in the southwestern and southeastern part of the Barents Sea will remain open for petroleum activity. Several discoveries of both oil and gas have been announced in these areas over the last two years. 

General Director of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, Gro Brækken, says the decision to stop any new impact assessment studies for oil and gas development in the northeastern Norwegian Sea is a democratic problem.

She sent out a press-release pointing to the fact that three out of four deputies in the new parliament is elected on a program that says yes to study the impact of oil activity in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

“It is a democratic problem that a clear majority in the parliament that supports such an impact assessment study again is overrun by a small minority. The representatives from the Christian Democratic and the Liberals, both parties without a single parliament member from Northern Norway, has got too big influence on this issue which has great importance for business development in this region,” says General Director Gro Brækken.”

Norway searching for alternative energy supplies & suppliers

Yazev: Norwegian gas to Murmansk | Barentsnova Valery Yazev [duma rep] says the region should not rely upon a single source of energy, while there should be a ‘basketful of energy carriers’. Apart from gas, there are two other possible solutions for Murmansk: electricity and peat could become its energy resources. Deposits of peat are found in proximity to Kandalaksha. The Murmansk region laid its hopes on gas supplies from the Shtokman field. Alas, the final investment decision (FID) has never been taken. However, the Barents Sea resources of gas are still on the agenda, says Yazev. Statoil recently presented its cost reduction ideas for the Shtokman project development. The company suggests either to install the platform in shallow waters or to arrange underwater transportation of gas (then no platform will be needed at all). These solutions could gain 2-3% of profits, calculated Statoil.  “They use this downtime in the absence of FID to find a cost-efficient solution. Though it has not been found yet, as far as I know”, said Yazev. A few Russian media sources claim Frances’s Total and Russia’s Gazprom are meeting Thursday to discuss the destiny of Shtokman.