Friday

28th Jul 2017

EU should look north for energy, Norwegian minister says

  • Norway has jurisdiction over an area six times as big as its mainland in the Arctic Sea (Photo: thesetides.com)

Increased extraction of oil and natural gas from the Barents Sea may provide Europe with its much needed energy, the Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Store has said.

Ahead of a meeting with his Swedish counterpart in Stockholm, the Norwegian minister in a letter published in Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet on Monday (24 April), sketched a European energy scenario focusing on the ice-packed northern parts of our planet.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We know that the traditional conception of the world, classically defined with Europe in the middle, and America and Asia on the outer wings is only one way of looking at the map.

"If we instead place the Nordic areas in the centre, the perspective changes dramatically. The Arctic Ocean is then a mutual sea between Europe, Russia and North America," he said.

The Barents Sea is a part of the Arctic Ocean and spans the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, and Finland and North-western Russia, including the counties of Murmansk and Archangel as well as the Republic of Karelia.

Geologists say there is oil to the value of €250 billion in the Norwegian parts of the Arctic Sea, an area of 27.7 million square kilometres.

Oslo believes that the prospect of further oil and gas finding in the Arctic Sea are better-than-good, and has initiated deeper cooperation with neighbours Sweden, Finland and Russia to decide upon the drilling rights and repartition of licences for foreign countries' energy companies.

Companies resumed drilling in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea in 2005 for the first time since 2001, after the previous Norwegian government ended a moratorium on drilling activity in the Arctic against protests by environmental groups.

The number of applicants for licences was immediate, reflecting increased industry interest in the Barents Sea, despite the region's harsh Arctic climate.

According to the Norwegian foreign minister, the North Sea, situated between Scandinavia, the British Islands, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, could in the future be connected to the Barents Sea with a pipeline, to supply Europe with gas from both the Russian and Norwegian parts of the Barents region.

Oil and gas make up for 50 percent of Norway's exports, with only Saudi Arabia and Russia exporting more oil than the Scandinavian state.

Russia has over the last few years also stepped up drilling for gas and oil on its waters in the area, while American oil giants have bought the right to drill on parts of the Norwegian waters.

Moscow has said it wants to build a gas pipeline from the Barents Sea to the Baltic Sea, where it can be connected to another planned southbound pipeline to supply Germany with natural gas.

Greece looking at bond market return

Greece could issue 3-year bonds as early as this week, for the first time in three years, amid mixed signs from its creditors and rating agencies.

Greece to get €7.7bn loan next week

The ESM, the eurozone emergency fund, agreed on Friday to unblock a new tranche of aid as part of the bailout programme agreed upon in 2015.

News in Brief

  1. EU citizens will need registration to enter UK in Brexit transition
  2. Italy weighs up sending navy into Libyan waters
  3. Swedish PM fights for survival amid IT scandal
  4. Poland's Kaczynski vows to continue judicial reform
  5. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  6. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  7. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  8. Swedish government rocked by data scandal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. UK and EU stuck on 'philosophy' of Brexit bill
  2. Europe needs a policy for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. Spain's PM appeals to court over Catalan independence
  4. Senate backs Russia sanctions, setting scene for EU clash
  5. France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya
  6. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  7. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  8. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace