Norway wants to redefine the contours of the Arctic ice edge, the government announced Tuesday in a controversial decision that would further open the Barents Sea to oil and gas exploration.
Within hours of the decision, the oil ministry offered companies 57 blocks, nearly all in the Barents Sea, some in the most northern waters ever opened for exploration. A 2013 agreement between the minority government and its centre-right allies prohibits all activities in the rich and fragile ecosystem at the ice edge.
However global warming has seen the ice retreat further north fuelling debate on where its edge is now located. "It's important to have updated knowledge on where the fragile areas are located," Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft said in a statement.
"Therefore I've asked the Norwegian Polar Institute to update their calculations." The new sea ice map is based on satellite data from between 1984 and 2013, replacing a current definition that uses material collected over two decades up to 1989.
This allows the government to argue that the new oil concessions are located far from the sea ice, whereas by the old definition a number of blocks would have been off limits.
When objections over drilling in the area erupted on the back of political disagreements late last year, the government decided to delay the licensing bid.
Norway's minority government will need to seek approval for the northward expansion from the parliament.
Members of two centre-right parties -- whose support is necessary for a majority -- said on Tuesday that they opposed the re-drawing of the boundaries, while environmental groups accused the government of pandering to the oil industry.
This article has been extracted from https://uk.news.yahoo.com, please click on this link to read the article in full https://uk.news.yahoo.com/norway-updates-arctic-ice-map-potential-oil-exploration-153123488.html#gl7aDRF
Montash is a multi-award winning global technology recruitment business. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments across a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:
ERP, BI & Data, Information Security, IT Architecture & Strategy, Energy Technology, Demand IT and Business Engagement, Digital and E-commerce, Leadership Talent, Infrastructure and Service Delivery, Project and Programme Delivery.
Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid management in permanent and contract roles.