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 […]

Solberg slammed for her devotion to oil

Reaction was fast and furious after Prime Minister Erna Solberg not only announced that her government wants to increase offshore oil exploration but also open up areas off scenic Lofoten and Vesterålen to oil and gas activity. It was music to the ears of the oil industry she was addressing in Stavanger on Monday, but a huge […]

Lofoten village may be fenced off

Nusfjord, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages, may soon be fenced off to the general public. Only local residents and tourists willing to pay an entrance fee will be allowed into the idyllic spot if its major property owner gets its way. Nusfjord AS owns most of the properties in the village and has invested […]

Protests fly over ‘wild camping’

Norwegians are calling it “wild camping” this summer, to describe cases where tourists park their motor homes or set up tents in places where they can avoid fees and use facilities for free. Campers spotted in graveyards on scenic Lofoten have set off protests from residents and the tourist industry alike. “It’s downright audacious and utterly lacking […]

Grounded cruiseship freed itself

The grounding on Saturday of a cruiseship off scenic Lofoten in Northern Norway was never considered very dramatic and many of its passengers used the unscheduled stop for some extra sightseeing, reports news bureau NTB. The vessel Marco Polo had 1,096 people on board when it got stuck in a sandbank off Gravdal in Lofoten. […]

‘Norway’s oil age is not over,’ yet

Tord Lien, Norway’s government minister for oil and energy, isn’t letting himself be overly concerned by the recent, some say dramatic, fall in oil prices. Lien believes oil companies will continue to be interested in tapping into Norway’s large oil reserves, and that there are still large amounts of oil and gas off Norway just waiting […]

Storm sweeps over Northern Norway

The extreme weather system known as “Kyrre” swept its way northwards on Friday, knocking out power around Lofoten, damaging property and blowing a bus carrying 40 tourists off a road at Hadsel in Nordland County. At least two of the passengers on board were seriously injured. The bus, full of British tourists, was on its […]

Hushovd won in his homeland

UPDATED: Norwegian cyclist Thor Hushovd emerged victorious from the first annual Arctic Race of Norway over the weekend, winning the last lap and the overall event. He was clearly proud to share some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery along the way with fellow international cycling stars, and now organizers are setting their sights farther north. […]