Labour party postpones Arctic oil decision

The Norwegian Labour party in its annual congress this week decided to postpone its official party decision on whether to open up for oil and gas exploration in the Lofoten and Vesterålen area. Some say that the powerful party inevitably will say yes to petroleum activity in the area.


The Labour Party held its annual congress this week. The congress voted over the party’s view on the opening the environmentally sensitive Lofoten and Vesterålen areas off northern Norway for petroleum industry. A highly controversial matter, as the areone of the most important breeding areas for Barents Sea cod.

The congress voted in favour of postponing the decision until 2010, when the a new consequence study on the region will be completed. This also means that the current government might be able to avoid a difficult debate on the issue in the upcoming election this autumn.

Labour Party’s Member of Parliament, Tore Nordtun, says to that the decision actually means that his party will says yes to the opening up this area for petroleum industry.

− No one should ever doubt that the Labour Party wants to make use of the potential on the Norwegian continental shelf, says Nordtun to

However, not all members of his party agree with this view. At the same time the two other political parties in the current Norwegian Government, SP and SV, are both strongly against opening this vulnerable area for oil and gas exploration.