WWF warns against Norwegian oil drilling in Arctic sea ice



Posted on 13 June 2013  | 
Barents Sea oil and ice.
© WWFEnlarge
Next week the Norwegian Parliament will vote on a proposal from the ministry of oil and energy to open the eastern Barents Sea for oil exploration, which would take oil exploration well into the sea ice zone. WWF Norway says such a move would drastically increase the risk of a Norwegian Arctic oil disaster.

“We have said many times that there is no proven effective technology for either preventing or cleaning up oil spills in Ice-covered waters,” says Nils Harley Boisen, Arctic Advisor for WWF Norway. “We thought the Norwegian government agreed. Only a few months ago Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide assured us "it’s definitely not Norwegian policy to drill in icy areas.”

WWF Norway is concerned that the Parliamentary Energy and Environment Committee supports a sudden change in the definition of icy water to justify expansion of petroleum operations in the Barents Sea.

Drilling for oil in the Eastern Barents represents a risk to the local environment, home to a major cod fishery. Just last week healthy cod stocks in the region led to an increase in the cod quota.

“This is a violation of 40-years of Norwegian oil policy and the management plan for the Barents Sea,” adds Boisen. “We need to send our politicians a clear signal that they should not support this risky drilling plan, but should instead focus on reducing risks to us all by pursuing renewable energy options more vigorously.”

For more information:
Nils Harley Boisen
Advisor, Arctic and Northern Areas
WWF Norway
+47 98 08 21 01

Barents Sea oil and ice.
© WWF Enlarge

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