Snøhvit has given growth and optimism

Photo: Hammerfest Turist AS

The northern Norwegian town of Hammerfest has experienced a turn from recession to growth and optimism, due to the development of the Snøhvit gas-field in the Barents Sea.


Since the development of the Snøhvit gas-field in the Barents Sea started in 2002 it has led to growth for the local community and the adjacent municipalities, according to research performed by the Northern Research Institute (NORUT).

Both the town of Hammerfest, where the Snøhvit LNG-plant is located and the surrounding region, were for several years troubled with high unemployment and depopulation. When Statoil started the construction work at Snøhvit the situation soon began to change. Now the running of the gas-field, related businesses and the general raise in local activity, has lead to rising population and optimism in the north.

However, the research has also shown that it is primarily the established petroleum businesses from southern Norway which has been dominant on signing development contracts. It will be a challenge for local companies from northern Norway to be more active in the petroleum development of the region in the future.