WWF critical of record oil production licenses

Ekofisk Complex WWFThe Ekofisk complex is still a money machine for Norway. Photo: Conoco-Phillips

WWF critical of record oil production licenses on the NCS

WWF is critical of the fact that the Norwegian Government has granted 83 production licenses on the Norwegian shelf this year. That is a record. The foundation believes it is a violation of the Government declaration.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 25 of the 83 production licenses are in particularly valuable and vulnerable areas, including at Mørebanken and Tromsøflaket, reports NRK.

“It is ruthless towards nature and important environmental values. These areas are particularly vulnerable if they are exposed to oil accidents or other types of impact. This is a miserable environmental policy in 2019,” Secretary-General of WWF, Bård Vegar Solhjell, states.

He points out that the Government Declaration states that no oil activity will take place at Mørebanken, which is considered one of Norway’s most important fishing grounds, with a large number of fish species and good spawning grounds.

Government declaration

“As we interpret it, there are grounds for saying that they violate their own Government declaration when they allow it so close to these areas,” Solhjell believes.

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Kjell-Børge Freiberg (Progress Party), disagrees. In an email to NRK, he writes that the licenses have been awarded on the basis of thorough deliberations and that no additional licenses are granted on the Møre grounds.

“Solhjell ought to know the difference between the prepositions «on» and «near»,” Freiberg responds.

Facts (Wikipedia)

Tromsøflaket is located in the northeastern part of the Norwegian Sea. Towards the Barents Sea, Tromsøflaket is delineated along a line between the South Cape on Spitsbergen via Bear Island to the North Cape.
Tromsøflaket consists of a number of pools and heights.
It is an important fishing area.
Gas production on the Snowwhite field. Oil production is underway from the Goliat field. There are also a number of smaller discoveries.

Mørebanken is an important spawning and early growth area for Norwegian spring-spawning herring and pollock. Due to herring, the orca is associated with Mørebanken in the early spring.
Pollock spawns on the Møre coast between Stadt and Grip.
The area is important in connection with the search for food in and outside the breeding season for seabirds.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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