Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

Municipality of Alta, Norway, has created guide for moose encounters

November 17, 2011

The municipality of Alta in Finnmark, Norway, has created a folder informing citizens on how to behave when encoutering moose in populated areas. The folder is also available online here.

I have translated a few bits from the folder below:

“Is the Moose dangerous? It’s important to be aware of the fact that the moose is a wild animal that can defend itself and thereby become a danger.”

Undisturbed moose grazes near housing area. Do not try to get the mooses attention by screaming and yelling, throwing snowballs or by approaching it.

Attentive moose: The moose has become aware of a disturbance, and has not yet decided to stay or flee.

Aggressive and dangerous moose: This moose is aggressive. Notice that it's neck hairs are standing up, it is holding it's head low and the ears are held flat. This is dangerous. Remove yourself from the area as quickly as possible. The moose can attack at any moment.

Attacking moose: The situation is life threatening and must be avoided at any cost. YOU CAN NOT OUTRUN A MOOSE!

Russian site could be late Neanderthal refuge

May 24, 2011
By MALCOLM RITTER, Associated Press 05/19/2011 Original article here

NEW YORK — Scientists have identified what may be one of the last northern refuges of Neanderthals, a spot near the Arctic Circle in Russia with artifacts dated to 31,000 to 34,000 years ago.

Stone tools and flakes found there look like the work of Neanderthals, the stocky, muscular hunters who lived in Europe and western Asia until they were replaced by modern humans, researchers reported today in the journal Science.

The site lies along the Pechora River west of the Ural Mountains, about 92 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Researchers dated it from animal bones and sand grains. Nobody has found any human bones or DNA that could provide stronger evidence that Neanderthals lived there, report the scientists, from Russia, France and Norway. The artifacts had been collected during various expeditions.

Richard Klein, a Stanford University professor of anthropology, said the artifacts do look like the work of Neanderthals, but that it’s also possible they were made by modern people instead.

Neanderthals were not previously known to be in that area, nor convincingly shown to be present anywhere at such a recent time, he said. Finding another site or human bones would help settle the question, he said.

Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College of the City of New York, cited a 2006 study that suggests Neanderthals occupied a cave near the southern tip of Spain at about the same time as the new work puts them in Russia. Maybe the two locations show how Neanderthals retreated in opposite directions from the encroachment of the modern humans, he said.

UPDATE 3-Big Statoil Arctic find revives Norway’s oil future (Reuters)

April 1, 2011

April 1st. 2011, Reuters, Original article here

* Skrugard holds 150-250 mln boe recoverable reserves

* Potential upside for total 500 mln boe

* Most significant off Norway in last decade

* Nearby prospect could also have big potential

* Statoil shares to three-and-a-half-year high

(Adds environmental concern, updates shares)

By Gwladys Fouche and Henrik Stoelen

OSLO, April 1 (Reuters) – Norway’s Statoil (STL.OL) has made a big oil find in the Arctic North, the firm said on Friday, breathing new life into Norway’s declining oil prospects and lifting the company’s shares to a 3.5-year high.

The company said the 150-250 million barrels of oil equivalent Skrugard discovery in the Barents Sea could potentially hold up to 500 million barrels and is the most significant off Norway in the last decade. It said a nearby prospect also looked promising. “This is fantastic, a breakthrough for us in this section of the Barents Sea,” Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, Statoil’s head of exploration off Norway, told Reuters.

“This find will lead to a new boom in exploration in the area,” said Magnus Smistad, an analyst at Fondsfinans. “This is an exciting area and the potential could be even bigger.”

Statoil shares were up 2.2 percent to 156.7 crowns at 1612 GMT while shares in Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI), which has a 30 percent stake in the licence, were up 1.85 percent to 17.65 euros.

Norway is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter and the second-largest for gas but its oil output has been declining since 2001 and oil discoveries have become ever smaller.

In January Norwegian authorities slashed their estimates for offshore undiscovered oil and gas resources by 21 percent to 16.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, making the country less attractive to oil majors — until today. [ID:nLDE70B1MD]

“This discovery is the missing element needed to develop the Barents Sea into an oil province over the long-term,” Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe said in a statement.

Finding oil in the Barents Sea has been tough. More than 80 exploration wells have been drilled there since 1980 but only two discoveries have been made — Statoil’s Snoehvit gas field and Eni’s Goliat oilfield.

Discovered in 2000, Goliat was the biggest oil find made in the Norwegian Barents Sea until now, with an estimated 240 million barrels in oil equivalent.

The find could lead to renewed concern about the impact of oil activity in a remote part of the Arctic, following the BP (BP.L) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before drilling on Skrugard began last year, the Norwegian Polar Institute expressed worries about the potential impact of oil leaks that could get trapped in the Arctic sea ice, which extends to within some 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of Skrugard.

Haatvedt said Statoil would drill another well at Skrugard next year, which is about two-third oil and one-third gas, as well as another well at a nearby prospect.

“The other prospect has big potential, with a strong upside,” the executive said, declining to offer more details. The third partner in the license is Norwegian state-owned firm Petoro, which holds a 20 percent stake.

“It takes between 5 to 10 years from making a discovery to production, so we are planning for the future now … “We want to start production as soon as possible,” Statoil said, adding that it saw possibilities for a stand-alone production installation for Skrugard.

(Editing by Richard Mably and Jason Neely)

Russia to ratify maritime border pact with Norway within month – Lavrov

March 23, 2011

07/03/2011 RIA Novosti original article here

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov

Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, will ratify a maritime border demarcation treaty with Norway within a month, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

Last year Russia and Norway signed a deal to delimitate their maritime border in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean after 40 years of negotiations.

Both countries have been disputing the 175,000 square km area since 1970. The absence of defined maritime border often resulted in detentions of fishing vessels in the region.

The agreement has also paved the way for the lifting of a 30-year-long moratorium on oil and gas extraction in the previously disputed zone.

“We were discussing the vital issue for our states [maritime border demarcation pact]…Norway has ratified the pact. Russia has just started the ratification. We are planning to settle it within a month,” Lavrov told a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart, Jonas Gahr Store in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

Russia, however, is still in a dispute with Canada over the Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic Ocean, with both countries trying to persuade a UN commission that it is an extension of its own continental shelf. The sides have agreed that scientific evidence should resolve the dispute.

KALININGRAD, March 7 (RIA Novosti)

Norway joins Canada in seal ban fight

March 23, 2011

“We consider the EU ban on seal products sales to be in violation of WTO rules”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

PETER O’NEIL, Postmedia News -Original article here


Norway joined Canada March 15 in asking the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute-settlement panel to consider a challenge to the European Union’s seal products ban.

“We consider the EU ban on seal products sales to be in violation of WTO rules and want an independent assessment of a dispute settlement panel in the WTO,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, according to a translation of the government news release.

The release said WTO-arranged consultations between Norway and the EU have failed.

Canada announced last month that it was asking for a dispute-settlement panel to challenge the ban, which came into force last summer.

The process normally takes a year to reach a conclusion, according to the news release.

Norwegian Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen echoed past statements by Canadian politicians, saying it is defending a principle that Norwegians have a right to take part in a sustainable harvest and then sell the products.

The European Parliament, dismissing Canada’s argument that the hunt is humane, voted by a margin of 550 to 49 to impose its seal ban in May 2009.

Since then, several rounds of trade consultations through the trade organization have failed to resolve the dispute.

Norway reservoir levels down 50% on last five years

March 23, 2011

ICISHeren 23 Mar 2011 17:22:00 | edem – Original article here

Water levels in the Nordic region’s reservoirs dropped further in week 11 to bottom out at 19% average fullness, a week-on-week drop of 2.1 percentage points.

Nord Pool Spot data released on Wednesday showed that the reservoir area – Norway, Sweden and Finland – has seen a sustained decline from the beginning of the year, when hydro stocks were at 42.5% fullness.

Hydro levels in the region are dominated by Norway, with Norwegian hydropower accounting for 98-99% of the country’s electricity consumption. Norway’s reservoirs also make up roughly 73% of the entire Nordic region’s reservoir levels.

Norway saw a week-on-week drop of 2.2 percentage points in week 11 to reach 20.6% fullness. This represented a near 50% decline compared with the average over the past five years for Norwegian reservoir levels in week 11, which stood at 40.7%.

Norway’s Week 11 levels corresponded to the capacity equivalent of 16.8TWh and are a marked contrast to the 24.9TWh seen in week 11 of 2010.

Swedish levels had a softer fall of 1.9 percentage points week on week to reach a reservoir level landing of 14.9% fullness, with a residual capacity of 5.03TWh. The capacity difference is a year-on-year fall of 7.64%.

Hydro levels in Finland were only down 5.3% week on week, but the marginal drop had little impact because Finnish reservoirs only make up less than 5% of the Nordic area’s total hydro volume. Potential generation volume – at 1.12TWh – dipped by a notable 28.4% year on year. RAK

Statoil orders control umbilicals for Fossekall-Dompap

March 23, 2011

Oil and Gas Journal – Original article here.

HOUSTON, Mar. 23 — Statoil let a 200 million kroner contract to Aker Solutions for control umbilicals for the fast-track Fossekall-Dompap subsea development that will tie back the fields to the Norne floating production, storage, and offloading vessel in 380 m of water on Block 6608/10 in the Norwegian Sea. Fossekall, discovered in 2010 with well 6608/10-14, and Dompap, discovered in 2009 with well 6608/10-12, along with Vilje South are part of Statoil’s second-wave of fast-track projects. Statoil plans to start development drilling on the fields in March 2012 with production starting in December 2012. Statoil expects to recover from Fossekall 37-63 million bbl of oil and 1-3 billion cu m of gas. The company drilled the Fossekall discovery well, in 352 m of water, to 2,749 m into the Lower Jurassic Are formation and encountered oil in the Ile, Tofte, and Are formations and gas in the Melke formation. For Dompap, Statoil’s preliminary estimate is that the field holds 25-50 million bbl of recoverable oil. It drilled the exploration well 6608/10-12 to 3,158 m into the Lower Jurassic Are formation. Statoil also drilled the 6608-12 A sidetrack to 2,931 m that terminates in the same Are formation. The well is in 334 m of water. The 26 km of umbilicals ordered from Aker Solutions will have dynamic and static sections and will provide hydraulic, electrical, and fiber optic functions for three planned four-well-slot templates on Fossekall-Dompap. The umbilicals also include a 2.5-in. monoethylene glycol line for hydrate prevention and inhibition during shutdowns. Aker Solutions plans to manage the engineering of the control umbilicals at its Oslo facility and manufacture the umbilicals at its facility in Moss, Norway. It expects to make the final deliveries in second-quarter 2012. Fossekall-Dompap are in PL 128 and operator Statoil holds a 63.95% interest in the license. Partners are Petoro AS 24.55% and Eni Norge AS 11.5%.

Norway extends ban on Arctic shelf oil production until 2013

March 20, 2011

18:36 14/03/2011 original article here


Norway’s government has extended a 30-year moratorium on oil production on its Arctic shelf until 2013 under pressure from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the environmental organization said on Monday.

“The moratorium for Lofoten and Vesteralen [islands] in Norway’s northern arctic waters is part of an overall management plan for the Barents Sea that is aimed at protecting important areas for fish, sea birds, seals and whales,” the WWF said on its website, adding that the ban would last until 2013.

The moratorium is part of WWF-supported campaigns already under way in Alaska and Russia to protect fisheries and communities.

The wildlife protection campaigns are based on studies showing that oil returns in the long term would be less than returns from well-protected biological resources.

“It is complete madness to trade in a sustainable fishery that could continue to accommodate the interests of both people and nature for generations for a few years of quick and dirty profits from oil,” said Rasmus Hanssen, Secretary General of WWF Norway, according to the website.

The organization has long called for Russia to follow Norway’s suit and protect its biological resources from oil company expansion. In particular, a recent Rosneft-BP deal to jointly extract oil from the Arctic shelf has raised serious concerns among environmentalists. The companies plan to start drilling in 2015.

MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti)

Arctic oil drill splits Norway’s government

March 14, 2011

Euractiv.com 14 March 2011 -original article here

Norway’s Labour-led coalition government is preparing for crisis talks after one of its parties, the Socialist Left (SV), pledged to hold out against oil drilling in the pristine Lofoten region.

The oil industry views the untapped waters around the Lofoten and Vesteraalen islands as one of the best remaining prospects off Norway, the world’s fifth biggest oil exporter, whose output has fallen by a third in the past decade. But Norway’s green and socialist movements oppose oil and gas activities in the region, which is home to Europe’s largest cod stock and unique cold water reefs.

A decision on whether to order an impact assessment study for drilling in Lofoten – the most divisive issue in Norwegian politics – is due within weeks. On March 9, Labour MPs asked Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to negotiate a way out of the stalemate with SV, possibly by changing the study’s name or tweaking its scope. But the Socialists rejected this. “We can’t accept any study that leads to opening the region for oil and gas activities,” SV’s energy spokesman Snorre Valen told Reuters. “We simply won’t compromise on this.”

Oil industry pressure
The ruling coalition has survived for six years, partly by delaying decisions on the Lofotens. But pressure from the oil industry, trades unions and some local people is forcing Labour to move on the issue. The SV environment minister Erik Solheim played down the chances of a government collapse to the Aftenposten newspaper.

“The government has for the past six years shown a phenomenal ability to survive. We have like Lazarus risen from the dead, and several times at that,” he was reported saying. Norway’s oil row comes as a report by the US National Academy of Sciences warns of a new struggle for oil and gas resources in the Arctic by 2030. Melting ice cover due to climate change will upset the Arctic power balance and intensify unresolved disputes among countries with Arctic borders. These include Norway, the US, Canada, Denmark, Russia, Iceland, Sweden and Finland.

“The geopolitical situation in the Arctic region has become complex and nuanced, despite the area being essentially ignored since the end of the Cold War,” the study says. It predicts a low chance of conflict but cautions that that “co-operation in the Arctic should not be considered a given even among close allies.”

(EurActiv with Reuters.)

Background

The resource-rich Arctic is becoming increasingly contentious as climate change endangers many species of the region’s flora and fauna but also makes the region more navigable. Up to 25% of the planet’s undiscovered oil and gas could be located there, according to the US Geological Survey.

No country owns the North Pole or the region of the Arctic surrounding it. The surrounding Arctic states of the USA, Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark (Greenland) have a 200 nautical mile economic zone around their coasts.

In August 2007, a Russian icebreaker reached the North Pole and a Russian mini-submarine planted a titanium Russian flag on the seabed there. The move was widely interpreted as a bellicose claim by Russia to the North Pole seabed and its resources.

Norway covers between 10 and 18% of EU oil demand and about 15% of its natural gas. The country, a member of the European Economic Area since 1994, is the world’s third largest exporter of oil and gas after Saudi Arabia and Russia.

By 2015-2020, natural gas deliveries from Norway to the EU are expected to grow from 85 billion cubic metres to 120 bcm, covering 7-9% of the EU’s entire gas consumption by 2020.

New Norwegian oil minister open to Arctic drilling

March 5, 2011
March 4, 2011 | 08:07
Reuters Original article here
Norway replaced its oil and energy minister on Friday, appointing a rising politician who is more open than his predecessor to the prospect of drilling in a pristine Arctic archipelago.

Terje Riis-Johansen, who personally opposed drilling in the Lofoten region, resigned after months of criticism of his handling of a costly and delayed carbon capture facility and a plan to build power cable across a scenic fjord.

He was replaced by fellow Centre Party politician Ola Borten Moe, a 34-year-old farmer who is the grandson of former Prime Minister Per Borten and a rising star in Norwegian politics.

The oil industry has said that only by allowing drilling off the Lofoten Islands, a region rich in fish and unique cold-water reefs, can Norway prolong its oil boom as output from North Sea oilfields dwindles.

“Under certain circumstances I would not exclude the opportunity (of drilling in Lofoten),” Moe told Reuters after being presented to the King as the new oil minister.

Norway is the world’s No. 5 oil exporter and No. 2 gas exporter, although its oil output, now about 2 million barrels per day, has dropped by a third since peaking in 2001.

Moe said his position was consistent with the Centre Party view that no formal impact assessment of drilling off the Lofotens should be allowed during this parliamentary term, which ends in 2013.

The Labour-led coalition government is discussing whether to carry out such a study, largely seen as a stepping stone to opening the region for oil exploration.

Moe has said previously three conditions would need to be met for him to support drilling: Norwegian oil firm Statoil would need to show greater efforts on safety and the environment; oil spill preparedness must be improved; and jobs would have to be created in northern Norway region.

Moe told Reuters he was in favour of building gas power plants in Norway, a controversial topic in a Nordic country whose electricity is generated by hydroelectric power, although their emissions should be captured by carbon capture and storage.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said his government’s energy policy would remain largely unaffected by the minister. “(Moe) stands on the same political foundation as the whole government,” Stoltenberg told Reuters.

“Everyone who is interpreting things should take it easy.”

Aside from environmental controversies, Riis-Johansen has taken heat over revelations that his ministry awarded power generation concessions to two publicly-owned companies that made illegal donations to his agrarian-backed Centre Party.