Resistance against oil exploration in Lofoten

ConocoPhilips, Ekofisk oil explorationEkofisk Aerial. Photo: ConocoPhilips

Increased resistance against oil exploration in Lofoten and Vesterålen

Support for keeping areas off Lofoten and Vesterålen exempt from drilling for oil is increasing, according to a survey conducted by the Norwegian citizens’ board.


Based on the poll, the resistance against exploration is increasing in Norway, in all age groups and among voters from almost all the parties. The latest poll shows a significant increase in opponents from the autumn of 2016  to the spring of 2017. 58 percent wants the oil to remain underground, while a mere 27 per cent is in favour of extraction, according to the newspaper Bergens Tidende.

About one per mille of Norwegians have participated in the poll regarding drilling for oil.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes (Frp) believes that national considerations should be weighted heavily in the fight over oil extraction in Lofoten and Vesterålen.

– This is about value creation, jobs and, not to forget, income to finance our welfare, he says.

Incredibly uplifting

Member of Parliament for the Socialist Party (SV), Kari Elisabeth Kaski, believes the survey is an important signal to the parties that are most eager to start oil activities.

– The public wants to leave the oil outside Lofoten and Vesterålen be. Those are vulnerable areas containing enormous renewable resources. Additionally, we know that we must leave fossil fuels due to climatic reasons. It’s incredibly encouraging that more and more wants to leave these areas remain free of oil, she says.

This is a subject that means a lot to many, according to Ingrid Skjoldvær in the organization Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth).

– That’s why it’s incredibly important that people remember this in the election when they vote and vote for one of the many parties who want Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja to remain free of oil, she says.

No from people in the north and west

The figures from the Norwegian Citizens’ Panel show that two out of three respondents in northern Norway say no. The majority of West Norwegians will also want to protect, but resistance is less than in the north.

Among those who voted for the Conservative Party in 2013, it is for the first time more who will protect than develop Lofoten and Vesterålen (45 against 41 per cent). The Progress Party is the only party with the most oil fans, but the majority has shiunken  (46 per cent for and 41 per cent against).


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today