Disappointed, but satisfied at predictability for open areas

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association is disappointed that the government is changing the definition of the marginal ice zone, says acting director general Knut Thorvaldsen.

“An ice frequency of 30 per cent was used in both 2006 and 2011 as the basis for delimiting this area. We believe no scientific basis exists for that now being altered to 15 per cent.”

   His comment follows the publication today of the government’s management plans for Norway’s Barents Sea sector, the waters off Lofoten, the Norwegian and North Seas, and the Skagerrak.

   Measures in these plans include moving the outer limit of petroleum operations in the Barents Sea south to where sea ice is found, on average, for 15 per cent of the days in April.

   “However, we’re pleased that the new definition provides the basis for continued commercial activity in the opened areas of Barents Sea South,” says Thorvaldsen. “Predictability for the production licences awarded by the government is important.”

   The management plans are intended to lay the foundation for creating value through sustainable use of natural resources in Norway’s sea areas.

   At the same time, they aim to maintain the structure, functioning, productivity and natural diversity of the associated ecosystems.

   The Norwegian oil and gas sector now finds itself in a very challenging position, which has led to a massive slump in investment and reduced activity in all supplier chains.

   As a result, the industry has proposed tax measures which could help it to maintain the level of activity.

   Norwegian Oil and Gas assumes that the government and the Storting (parliament), through their consideration of the management plans and other issues this spring, will ensure operating parameters which can safeguard jobs and lay the basis for new activity in the sector.


Further information or comments from

Tommy Hansen, director of communications, Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, mobile: +47 909 58 450