January 23, 2010
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Norwegians Positive to Lofoten Oil

A new study shows that seven of ten respondents want more petroleum studies in the vulnerable and resource-rich Lofoten waters.

The study, which is conducted by Synovate for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF), indicates a strong support for more petroleum studies of the Lofoten waters among Norwegians. Seven of ten respondents want a so-called consequence study to be made in the area, a press release from OLF states.

The question of oil exploration in the Lofoten and Vesterålen area has become one the hottest potatoes in Norwegian politics. While government senior partner Labour Party wants the petroleum resouses in the area to be exploited, junior partners Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party are strongly against any industrial activities in the area. The issue is believed to have the potential to break up the government coalition of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Over the last years, seismic studies have been conducted in big parts of the area. The results of the studies remain confidential. However, the oil industry is confident that the waters hide big oil resources.

This year, a new management plan for the area will be presented. That plan will have major importance for the further process. The former management plan for the area bans exploration in the area, but opens up for seismic studies. Since then, the pressure from the oil industry has increased considerably. Norwegian oil production has dropped sharply over the last years and the industry is getting desparate for new production areas.

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