Norway’s parliament has rejected an attempt by the coalition government to broaden the reach of its Arctic oil drilling by redefining the edge of the polar ice cap.
“Parliament rejected the government’s proposed definition of the polar ice edge, and said the lines of the region can’t be redrawn ad hoc,” said Green Party spokesperson Knut Falk Qvigstad. The government had sought to issue drilling licences for 54 sections of the Barents Sea, contending that the melting polar ice cap made it safe to drill in more northerly sections.
The parliamentary pushback won the support of the two smaller partners in the governing coalition, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals.
“Even as a drop in oil prices makes Arctic exploration less attractive, Norway is betting on success in the Barents Sea,” Bloomberg reports. Norway’s oil and gas production has fallen by more than half since hitting a record high in 2000.