More trouble for ‘Goliat’ platform

Norwegian petroleum authorities have signaled another security inspection of the long-troubled Goliat platform in the Barents Sea, around 90 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest. It was shut down again this week, for the fifth time since it was put in place just last year. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported this week that more trouble was discovered […]

Statoil insists it’s also ‘going green’

Even as Statoil promoted a “fantastic portfolio” of oil drilling projects for 2017 this week, three of them in the sensitive Arctic, top officials insist the Norwegian oil company is also concerned about climate change and cutting carbon emissions. Statoil now admits that its drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been unsuccessful, but newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported this week […]

Winter returns after record warmth

UPDATED: Winter was finally returning to most of the Norwegian territory this week. After months of unseasonably warm temperatures, not least on Svalbard, subzero temperatures were setting in and even Oslo residents were told to brace for temperatures down to as low as minus-8C on Thursday. Thermometers in Northern Norway, meanwhile, were due to show double-digit numbers […]

New Sami president didn’t speak Sami

For the first time ever, the president of the Sami Parliament (Sametinget) in Norway could not and did not deliver the president’s annual New Year’s Day speech in the Sami language. Vibeke Larsen of the Labour Party, who assumed her post just before the holidays in what some call a political coup, ended up turning her lack of language proficiency […]

New storm bearing down on Svalbard

No rest for the weary: Just hours after the extreme weather system known as Urd abated on Tuesday, state meteorologists were issuing new warnings of a full storm heading straight for Svalbard. Local officials were evaluating whether to evacuate residents and tourists on the hard-hit group of islands in the Arctic. Norway’s meteorological institute sent out warnings of […]

More oil exploration sparks objections

Just a week after the Norwegian government finally secured what it calls “the greenest budget” in history, Oil Minister Tord Lien was moving forward with expansion of oil activity in the Arctic. Environmentalists were moving just as quickly to try to stop it, claiming that the oil industry seems to have won exemptions from the carbon emission […]

Politicians avoid real emission cuts

As Norwegian politicians continued to quarrel this week over raising fuel taxes to cut carbon emissions, climate activists gathering in Oslo put the quarreling in perspective. They noted how Norway’s oil and gas industry emits roughly 10 times the emissions of all the cars in Norway combined, yet politicians remain reluctant to scale it back even though ongoing […]

Evacuation orders lifted on Svalbard

Residents of Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard who’d been evacuated earlier this week because of storm damage fears were allowed to return to their homes on Thursday. Officials think the danger is finally over. Svalbard’s local governor (sysselmannen) lifted the evacuation orders for Gruvedalen and byhundegården, while Melkeveien was also reopened. Governor Kjerstin Askholt stated in […]

More evacuations ordered on Svalbard

UPDATED: A powerful storm that bore down on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard prompted local officials to close several roads on Monday and evacuate residents where there was danger of landslides. On Tuesday, after a night of pouring rain, evacuation orders were maintained and even expanded. “We had some thorough discussions with the meteorological institute and NVE (Norway’s […]

Norway and Russia strike new fishing deal

For the second time in recent weeks, Norway and Russia have shown they can rise above political tensions to strike agreements on some key Arctic issues. After first agreeing on how seismic vessels can cross back and forth over the two countries’ offshore border in the Barents Sea, now they’ve agreed on a new batch […]