Norway's oil industry has received a blow from one of its most important political allies.
A move that will make oil production in the area even more unlikely than it already was and makes the support of Norwegian politicians in the future highly uncertain.
The opposition Labor Party, the country's largest force in Paramento and a longtime supporter of the industry, has decided to stop supporting oil exploration through drilling off the beautiful Lofoten Islands in the Norwegian Arctic.
This important decision was announced by party leader Jonas GahrStore who, however, made it clear that the Labor Party will continue to be a supporter of the oil industry, but acknowledged that there is now a majority in the party in favor of this change. For its part, it will continue to support the existing tax system that includes exploration reimbursements.
There should still be 1 to 3 billion barrels of oil in the seabed of the Lofoten archipelago. The area had already been kept safe from drilling by Norwegian coalition governments through various political agreements but was not entirely safe.
Due to growing concern about climate change, the Norwegian oil industry is gaining less public support, and legal threats from environmental groups are becoming more frequent.
A few days ago,the country also announced that Norway's oil companies will have to commit to making operations completely emission-free.
A goal that the country's top oil industrialist called "very challenging."
"The whole industry is surprised and disappointed," Karl EirikSchjott-Pedersen, head of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, told Bloomberg.