April 23, 2019 | 9:50 PM IST
norway

Norway’s Labor Party says no to oil exploration in Arctic Lofoten Islands

Norway’s Labor Party , on Saturday said that the party would no longer push for oil exploration in the sensitive Lofoten Islands.

It may be noted that Norway has an oil-rich offshore that produces more than 1.6 million barrels of oil every day. The Arctic Lofoten Islands have been estimated to contain a reserve of at least one billion to three billion barrels of oil and state-owned oil company. Norway is one of the largest sovereigns wealth funds in the world and Lofoten is plays an important role in maintaining Norway’s status as an oil powerhouse in the future.

The announcement did not go down well be many politicians, Industry Energy –the oil industry workers’ union. The oil industry in Norway are also fearing that if the Labour party gains more power, oil might face gas taxes or lose certain tax refunds for exploration activity.

A press release issued by Norwegian government read, “A major part of the renewable energy investment opportunities is found in the unlisted market especially in unlisted infrastructure projects.”

Despite environmentalists heralding the news, Norway's Minister of Finance stressed that divestment was not a reflection of Norway's wavering dedication to oil but a purely financial move that would take place over a very gradual period of time. "The oil industry will be an important and major industry in Norway for many years to come," a press release from the country stated. "The state’s revenues from the continental shelf are, as a general rule, a consequence of the profitability of exploration and production activities. Therefore this measure is about diversification."

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