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04.05.2012

In Barents Sea, The Future Is Either Pipeline Or LNG

Conflicting positions between the oil industry, the state and regional interests dominate ahead of the decision, which will shape the energy future of the Norwegian Barents Sea.

The Barents Sea is making it to the top of the Norwegian petroleum agenda. Several field projects are in the making, new promising waters are opened for exploration and preliminary data from the formerly closed waters on the border to Russia indicate resources of major proportions.

However, Norway has not yet decided how to develop the resources. While the country’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, have indicated support for the proposed extension of the existing Norwegian pipeline grid to the Barents Sea, representatives of Statoil, the state-controlled energy company, might want it otherwise.

Talking to NTB, Statoil representative Øystein Michelsen underlines his company’s intention to expand capacity at its Melkøya LNG plant. He is supported by local authorities in Hammerfest, the town housing the LNG plant, who argue that “a LNG plant will give bigger local effects than a pipe”, NRK reports.

Copyright 2012, Barents Observer. All rights reserved.

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