Norway contemplates oil exploration outside Jan Mayen island / News / The Foreigner

Norway contemplates oil exploration outside Jan Mayen island. Delegation travels to island in “territorial” visit. Although it doesn’t look as though Norway will be starting any oil-related activities in the near future, that didn’t stop representatives paying the island a visit last week. And meanwhile, whilst the Oil and Energy Minister Terje Riis Johansen and Marius Holm – deputy leader in the environmental group Bellona – disagree about the motives for the visit Norway’s oil reserves are decreasing.Plans and disagreements Earlier this year, the Norwegian government presented its plans for what it envisages as comprising the country’s future conservation and drilling areas.

terje, riis, johansen, frederic, hauge, bellona, oil, gas, minister, iceland, norway, jan, mayen, island, exploration, environment



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Norway contemplates oil exploration outside Jan Mayen island

Published on Sunday, 27th September, 2009 at 18:42 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Delegation travels to island in “territorial” visit.

Jan Mayen egg-øya
Jan Mayen egg-øya
Photo: Hannes Grobe, Alfred Wegener Institute


Although it doesn’t look as though Norway will be starting any oil-related activities in the near future, that didn’t stop representatives paying the island a visit last week. And meanwhile, whilst the Oil and Energy Minister Terje Riis Johansen and Marius Holm – deputy leader in the environmental group Bellona – disagree about the motives for the visit Norway’s oil reserves are decreasing.

Plans and disagreements

Earlier this year, the Norwegian government presented its plans for what it envisages as comprising the country’s future conservation and drilling areas.

Whilst it banned drilling in several coastal areas for environmental and fishing-related reasons, it did open for oil exploration in new arctic areas, including the waters around Jan Mayen.

There is some pressure on Norway to consider the area. The island and its sea areas – the so-called Jan Mayen Ridge – are divided between Norway and Iceland, and Iceland has already decided to permit oil and gas activities on its side.

Bellona’s leader, Frederic Hauge, calls the plan a scandal. There is rich marine life in the enormous sea areas around the island, something which might turn any future decision to go ahead with drilling into a political and environmental hot potato.

Barren landscape

However, Bellona doesn’t believe that oil exploration is going to start at all, and Marius Holm tells NRK he views the reason for Riis Johansen’s recent visit to Jan Mayen as a pure territory-marking exercise in relation to Iceland. The minister himself, however, disagrees.

And the issue may resolve itself. The island’s position and terrain doesn’t make it either a cheap or a practical solution for any prospective oil company.

Jan Mayen is situated 1,000 km west of the Norwegian North Cape, lies 600 km northeast of Iceland, and is a 373 km2 volcanic island partly covered by glaciers.

According to The Barents Observer there are no harbours – meaning that ships have to anchor away from the island – and heavy winds and fog can make landings impossible at times, as the gravel runway has no instrument landing facilities.

A total of 18 people live on the island working for either the Norwegian Armed Forces, or the Meteorological Institute.



Published on Sunday, 27th September, 2009 at 18:42 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: terje, riis, johansen, frederic, hauge, bellona, oil, gas, minister, iceland, norway, jan, mayen, island, exploration, environment.





  
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