Is oil in the High North worth it? / News / The Foreigner

Is oil in the High North worth it?. Government claims there’s great potential. A new report about the effects of oil and gas activity in the Norway’s High North has given the government reasons to smile. Terje Riis-Johansen, Sp’s (the Centre Party) petroleum and energy minister waxed lyrically about increased job opportunities in the region when it was handed over to him on Friday.

terje, riis-johansen, lofoten, vesteraalen, senja, robin, kaas, artic, sea, oil, gas, drilling, jobs



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Is oil in the High North worth it?

Published on Sunday, 6th June, 2010 at 15:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 7th June 2010 at 11:05.

Government claims there’s great potential.

Arctic Sea off the coast of Norway
Arctic Sea off the coast of Norway
Photo: wili_hybrid/Flickr


Opportunities

A new report about the effects of oil and gas activity in the Norway’s High North has given the government reasons to smile.

Terje Riis-Johansen, Sp’s (the Centre Party) petroleum and energy minister waxed lyrically about increased job opportunities in the region when it was handed over to him on Friday.

“The report highlights a very important relationship for me - namely, the link between the petroleum business and employment in the north,” he says.

Labour’s (Ap) Deputy Minister at the OED (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy) Robin Martin Kåss tells the Foreigner it confirms what the government has believed all along.

“There’s great potential for value creation and ripple effects. It shows there are opportunities to build on and develop existing facilities, as well as for job creation in many different sectors.”

Leaping off

The number of jobs that would be created is estimated to be only about two percent, equivalent to between four and six thousand.

“Why does the percentage seem to be so small?”

“Oil and gas in the High North is still a fairly new industry, though jobs in these sectors would account for 27 percent of the employment-rate alone,” says Kåss.

“How do these percentages justify the investment costs involved regarding, for example, expansion and relocation?”

“The study is also only based on a small scenario. The number of jobs is dependent upon the size of resources found, as well as how industry and the government choose to develop it. If it’s to be based on a larger one we need to find more oil,” he says.

Risky

Protecting the environment is a hot issue at the moment. Concerns have been raised about the riskiness of drilling for oil off Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

Parts of the Labour Party have voted against drilling for oil in these areas, and there are also fears about the catastrophic effects of a similar accident to the Gulf of Mexico’s occurring on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

“The government is trying to take a holistic approach to education, infrastructure, resource-development, and environmental protection,” Kåss says.

Uphill struggle

He also acknowledges such a study has a weak point, and there’s room for improvement.

“This type of analysis depends upon the geology, which we know little about for now. Our main challenge is that the government will have to work very hard to create industrial clusters, as well as to build and attract competence amongst young people,” he says.

Meanwhile, Terje Riis-Johansen says the report, the upcoming consultative conference in Svolvær in two days, and the results of a public hearing will form the basis for the upcoming political process of updating the management plan for the Barents Sea – Lofoten.

“I will study this report carefully and look forward to the contributions I expect will be following the consultation round. There’s no doubt this study deals with an important element in the necessary public debate about petroleum operations in the north in the coming months.”



Published on Sunday, 6th June, 2010 at 15:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 7th June 2010 at 11:05.

This post has the following tags: terje, riis-johansen, lofoten, vesteraalen, senja, robin, kaas, artic, sea, oil, gas, drilling, jobs.





  
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