Norway's new government may bar oil firms from Arctic islands
OSLO, Sept 13
OSLO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Norway's incoming ruling parties plan to keep the Arctic Lofoten islands closed to the oil industry in hopes of winning over two smaller parties for their ruling coalition, daily newspaper Aftenposten said on Friday, citing sources close to the parties' leadership.
The Conservatives and Progress, who won elections on Monday, still need one of two centrist parties for a majority in parliament and their plan to open Lofoten to drilling has been among the biggest hurdles to a deal.
The Liberals and Christian Democrats, who are expected to enter coalition talks with the two bigger parties next week, have both said they will fight to keep the oil industry out of Lofoten to protect its pristine environment, its tourism and the world's largest cod stock.
Norway's oil industry has lobbied for a chance to drill there in the search for new oil reserves as production further south declines, with national output expected to fall to a 25-year low this year.
Waters off Lofoten are estimated to hold 8 percent of Norway's undiscovered oil and gas resources with seismic tests identifying 50 prospects that could hold recoverable reserves of around 1.27 billion barrels of oil equivalent. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Joachim Dagenborg; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
- U.S., Arab partners launch first strikes on IS in Syria |
- Qatar adamant it will host 2022 World Cup despite doubts
- Argentina's Fernandez to meet billionaire investor Soros in New York
- Ebola could strike 20,000 in six weeks, 'rumble on for years': study
- More Americans than ever have never married: survey