Norwegian oil company Statoil is stepping up the pressure on government officials to allow more expansion of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. Norway’s conservative government coalition is receptive, while those worried about the environment and climate are firmly opposed.
As the oil and gas debate continues to rage in Norway, Statoil announced on Tuesday that it’s willing to invest around NOK 60 billion (around USD 7 billion) in developing its Johan Castberg field in the Barents. Statoil claims it will contribute to creating many new jobs while also tapping Norway’s resources of oil and gas.
Statoil said it had changed its “concept” for the field and was “thinking in new ways” to control costs of the project. It has been deemed too costly at today’s lower oil prices.
Statoil isn’t giving up on it, though, by any means. Fredric Hauge of enviromental organization Bellona was immediately skeptical. He also thinks the investment in the local area is “minimal,” with around just 300 new jobs actually located in Northern Norway.