Stoltenberg looks north for more oil

Jens Stoltenberg says oil and gas resources creates new possibilities for employment and growth in the High North. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

“The area near the maritime delimitation line between Norway and Russia may contain significant oil and gas resources,” says Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and opens for seismic surveys to north of 78°N.


Stoltenberg announces that the Norwegian Government intends to start seismic surveys in the very north of the previously disputed part of the Barents Sea. The delimitation treaty between Russia and Norway entered force last summer.

The first seismic surveys in the southern part of the Norwegian sector took place last summer. Geologists say the first results looks interesting, with good possibilities for new oil discoveries. Stoltenberg says the treaty provides for both Norway and Russia to explore these opportunities.

Norway’s oil and energy minister Ola Borten Moe argues that new geological surveys are important for Norway.

“The Norwegian Government is now stepping up our geological surveys in the Barents Sea to safeguard our interests in accordance with the Treaty on Maritime Delimitation,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.

The northernmost yellow area on this map is what now will be opened for seismic surveys.

The Norwegian authorities highlight the need for geological data from the relevant areas in order to safeguard Norwegian interests in accordance with the maritime delimitation treaty if transboundary oil deposits are found. The Russian state-owned company Rosneft has been granted production licences covering most of the Russian part of the previously disputed area, the government says in a press-release posted at the portal of the Prime Minister’s Office.