Northern Norway lacks qualified workers for oil boom

Erik Karlstrøm (photo:

The northernmost parts of Norway might lose wealth creation, influence and ownership in future oil projects simply because there are not enough people to fill the important positions, business leaders believe.


In a few years Northern Norway will need hundreds of trained specialists, if there should be any hope of keeping local workplaces, Managing Director of North Energy Erik Karlstrøm says to NRK. He fears that lack of expertise within the oil sector will move wealth and influence out of the region.

In April Norwegian oil major Statoil announced that it had discovered a large oil field on the Skrugard prospect some 200 kilometers north of the coast of Finnmark, as BarentsObserver reported.

More effort must be put into education of new specialists, instead of quarreling about where oil bases and other infrastructure should be located, Karlstrøm says.

Read also: Statoil wants more local scientists for Northern oil exploration

- We need engineers, process engineers, geologists and geophysicists. - Of course we can have them coming from the southwestern part of Norway, but then we will see continued depopulation from Northern Norway, even though this is where the activity is taking place, Karlstrøm underlines.

Read also: Predicts bright future for Finnmark