Russia looks to stop Norwegian exploration in the Barents Sea

Russia looks to stop Norwegian exploration in the Barents Sea

Oslo: A diplomatic row has broken out as Russia says Norway is violating the Svalbard Treaty with the Norwgian  government opening three new blocks for oil drilling in the Barents Sea.

Russia believes the blocks that where announced in the 23rd licensing round in January belong to the Svalbard continental shelf and that production of oil and gas there should be regulated by the Svalbard Treaty.

In the Svalbard Treaty Norway and 39 other countries have the same rights to operate in the archipelago, provided that they comply with Norwegian law.

With Russia’s diplomatic protest, the environmental movement has gained a powerful ally against  drilling in the area.

In order not to increase the tension between Norway and Russia, Norway should let the disputed blocks lie, said Bellona president Frederic Hauge. Bellona is a powerful Norwegian government watchdog .


Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.

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