Statoil awarded exploration license off Greenland

Eilís QuinnEye on the Arctic

I missed this over the holidays, but Norway’s Statoil, along with partners ConocoPhillips and Nunaoil, has been awarded an exploration license off the eastern coast of Greenland.

“We are taking a stepwise approach to the Arctic, building on more than 30 years of experience from the harsh environment of the Norwegian continental shelf and other Arctic and sub-Arctic regions,” said Runi M. Hansen, Statoil country manager for Greenland and the Faroes in a press release dated Dec. 20, 2013. “We believe that Arctic resources in the future will become important to meeting the world’s energy demand.”

The area they’ll be operating in is referred to as Block 6. It’s located off the coast of northeast Greenland.

Statoil holds 52.5 percent., ConocoPhillips 35 percent and Nunaoil (National Oil Company of Greenland) will have 12.5 percent.

The license has a 16-year exploration period.

Statoil is also active in Baffin Bay located between Canada and the west coast of Greenland.

Though drilling and mining remain controversial in the Arctic, Greenland sees the greater economic activity of mining and offshore energy exploration as leading to increased economic and political independence from Denmark.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.