Film star lobbies to protect Lofoten

Environmental activists in Norway were calling it “one of the greatest things that’s ever happened:” Film star Leonardo DiCaprio has taken up their campaign to protect the scenic waters around Lofoten from oil and gas exploration and production. DiCaprio made his appeal to protect Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja from oil and gas activity by posting […]

New appeal to drop oil plans off Lofoten

After a week of anti-oil demonstrations especially aimed at protecting Norway’s scenic regions of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja, both the Conservative- and Labour Party leaders are being urged to drop all plans for oil exploration and production in the area. The leaders of two smaller rival parties have teamed up in an effort to kill off plans for […]

Huge reserves fuel Arctic oil debate

UPDATED: Norway’s petroleum directorate reported on Tuesday that the country’s undiscovered offshore oil and gas reserves in the Barents Sea may be twice as large as previously thought. That’s only fueling the debate over whether they should be found and tapped, at a time when the largest political parties want to do just that. The fate of […]

Labour’s love lost on Lofoten debate

Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre has finally confirmed that Norway’s scenic Lofoten islands need some tender loving care, with parts of their offshore waters protected from oil exploration and production. His jobs-minded party, however, isn’t extending full protection to other nearby areas, and that means few apart from Støre himself are happy with a proposed compromise announced this week. “This is an especially […]

Lofoten fends off the oil industry

The battle that’s raged for years over oil exploration and production off Norway’s scenic northern coastline reached what key players called a “turning point” during the weekend. Now it looks like opposition to oil activity from Lofoten north to Senja is strong enough to prevent the state from spending more time and money on an official report about oil’s consequences. Such reports, […]

Labour confederation may block oil drilling off Lofoten

A majority of the trade union federatations making up Norway’s largest labour confederation LO may vote in favour of keeping the waters off Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja free of oil exploration. LO boss Gerd Kristiansen, however, continues to rally in favor of it, because of the jobs it can create. News broke earlier this week […]

Labour federation bucks oil industry

The leader of Norway’s largest trade union federation, Fagforbundet, is challenging both its umbrella organization LO, the oil industry and the two parties leading Norway’s minority coalition by coming out in favour of protecting especially sensitive coastal areas off Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja from oil exploration. The powerful union group’s leader Mette Nord is also calling […]

Oil minister must explain himself

The leader of the one of the Norwegian coalition government’s own support parties is demanding an explanation on the floor of Parliament from Oil Minister Tord Lien, over how the waters off Lofoten, Bjørnøya and Møre wound up in the government’s controversial 24th oil exploration licensing round. Lien has claimed it was simply a mistake […]

Oil minister backs down on Lofoten

Oil Minister Tord Lien has abruptly reversed his promotion of oil drilling off Lofoten, informing oil companies that he won’t be seeking their recommendations for new exploration areas after all. Fierce opponents of oil drilling off the scenic area were relieved. “This was wise of them,” said Trine Skei Grande, leader of one of the minority […]

Pressure grows on scenic Lofoten

One of Norway’s most scenic tourist magnets, the Lofoten peninsula, and the spectacular neighbouring areas of Vesterålen and Senja are once again under pressure. Record numbers of tourists are generally welcome, but now both the oil industry and the Conservatives-led coalition government are urging oil exploration and production in nearby waters that also are famed as rich […]