Oil minister ‘crazy’ to open oil fields

Fishing industry- and environmental advocates were reacting with disbelief on Tuesday after Norway’s new Oil & Energy Minister Terje Søviknes announced plans to open up a record number of new blocs in the Arctic for oil and gas exploration. “The man is crazy,” claimed Steinar Eliassen, director of the fishing firm Norfra. “This is completely incomprehensible,” Eliassen […]

Oil enthusiasm fails to dip on price fall

Oil prices have fallen recently and so has the value of Norway’s currency, the krone, but that’s not dampening enthusiasm for those who still view the oil industry as extremely important. Local officials along the coast of Northern Norway, meanwhile, are cheering the country’s new oil exploration bonanza in the Barents Sea. The government’s decision […]

Journalist denied entry to Russia

UPDATED: Thomas Nilsen, editor of the highly acclaimed Independent Barents Observer in Kirkenes, seems to have become the latest symbol of tensions between Norway and Russia. Calls are now going out for the Norwegian foreign ministry to demand an explanation from the Russian Embassy in Oslo, as to why Nilsen was stopped at the Russian border on Wednesday while traveling […]

Norway boosts its relevance for Trump

NEWS ANALYSIS: Foreign Minister Børge Brende recapped his visit to Washington DC last week with some of the typical diplomatic rhetoric that stressed, for example, the “constructive dialogue” he claims he had with the US’ new conservative leadership. He left DC with the full realization that he and other Norwegian government officials have a lot […]

No one caught in latest Svalbard slide

Authorities on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard could confirm Sunday evening that no one was missing or injured by yet another avalanche that slid down a mountainside in an area featuring holiday cottages known as hytter on Sunday afternoon. The area, known as Hjorthamn, is located just across the fjord from Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Svalbard’s […]

Avalanche forced delay in orchid delivery

Norway’s agriculture minister, Jon Georg Dale, had to cancel a trip to Svalbard with a delegation from Myanmar this week because of the “uncertain situation” on the Arctic archipelago. The delegation had planned to place seeds from threatened orchid plants inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Those plans were disrupted by the avalanche that rammed […]

Another avalanche rams Longyearbyen

UPDATED: NVE, the state agency responsible for issuing avalanche warnings, admitted it made a mistake Tuesday after more tons of snow, ice, dirt and rocks thundered down on a residental area of Longyearbyen on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard on Tuesday. Agency personnel had posted high avalanche danger in other areas but hadn’t expected another […]

‘Goliat’ platform still struggling

Norway’s pioneering offshore platform on the Goliat field in the Arctic was out of operation again last week. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that field operations were disrupted nearly four out of every 10 days last year, but the chief executive of the Italian oil company in charge claims he’s still proud of Goliat. “We had down-time […]

‘The People’ won in mock trial over Arctic oil

Just days before a landmark legal challenge to oil activity in Norway’s Arctic won a date in court, a mock trial on the controversial issue was carried out during an annual cultural event in the northern Norwegian city of Kirkenes. After three days of staged court hearings, the people wanting to halt Arctic oil activity won […]

Arctic drilling suit heads for court

UPDATED: Environmental organizations Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) have won a court date for Norway’s first climate case, aimed at halting oil drilling and production in the Norwegian Arctic. Their breakthrough comes just after three oil companies announced their discovery of large oil and gas deposits in the Barents Sea and the government’s […]