Norway's Parliament is expected to vote this year on opening two major frontier Arctic areas to oil and gas exploration, Natural Gas Europe reports the country's energy minister as saying.
Reuters reports that Petroleum and Energy Minister, Ola Borten Moe, has already said he wishes to launch the long-awaited opening process for the south-east Barents Sea and the area off Jan Mayen island early in 2013.
No major opposition is anticipated to such moves, according to Natural Gas Europe.
Among the areas being opened are the waters off Jan Mayen island, a tiny island situated north-east of Iceland.
The other includes the south-east part of the Barents Sea, an area that became available to exploration when Russia and Norway settled a long-running border dispute in 2010.
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