The ruling Workers’ Party in Norway agrees to conduct a study to open the Arctic region characterized by environmental sensitivity to activities of oil and gas exploration. Exploration in the waters around the Lovoten islands above the Arctic Circle is prohibited.
In addition, the groups defending the environment and tourism industry refuse the establishment of any projects there.
The ruling party voted yesterday in favor of the study, but said it would carry out another voting in 2015 before the beginning of the actual drilling. He pointed out that oil represents the lifeblood of the economy of Norway, the seventh-largest crude exporter in the world and the largest supplier of natural gas in Western Europe.
The energy sector in the country continuously needs new areas for exploration in order to stop the production decline. Energy companies demand to allow them to explore in Lovoten islands.
This year, the Norwegian oil production will decline to its lowest level since 25 years in line with the depletion of the North Sea fields. But Norway hopes that a series of new discoveries would stop the decline.
The Norwegian oil company (Statoil) says that it discovered new oil sources in the waters of Norway in the North Sea. Since the oil discovery in the sixties of the last century, Norway was considered an important source of oil in Europe. Its production reached its peak in 2001which was more than three million barrels a day before it starts to decline to around 1.6 million barrels in the last year.