Oil Minister Tord Lien wants drilling in the vulnerable Lofoten waters. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

This is the time for Lofoten oil, says Norwegian minister

The lower the oil price, the more likely with production in the Lofoten waters, Norway’s oil minister Tord Lien argues.
January 13, 2016

As the oil price reaches its lowest level in more than a decade, making oil dependent Norway stumble, the country’s oil minister maintains that this is the time for development of the Lofoten resources.

Speaking to NRK Radio, the state broadcaster, Tord Lien says the likelihood of oil production in the Lofoten region now is growing and that political support for extraction in the area could be sufficient after the upcoming 2017 parliament elections.

”It is likely that the troublesome situation in the oil industry will continue until 2017 and that raises the chances to make the Lofoten oil resources available”, Lien says in the interview.

Tord Lien represents the Progress Party, the rightwing government junior partner.

”The currently difficult situation for the oil industry makes it even more important to make new areas available, Lien adds to NRK. The resouces in the Lofoten area is located closely to land and are easily available for the companies, he argues.

The statements stir controversy in relations with the two government support parties, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats. Both of the support parties are strongly against drilling in the north and agreed to support the minority government only as long as the Lofoten oil is left untouched.

The government declaration of 2013 clearly includes the precondiction that there will be no planning or drilling in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja, as well in the areas around Jan Mayen and close to the ice-edge in the High Arctic. 

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The Lofoten and Vesterålen waters. Map by Npd.no

 

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