the Norwegian government announced its approval for the expansion of 19 oil and gas fields through investments that surpass 200 billion Norwegian crowns (€15 billion, $18 billion, £13 billion). This is seen as a strategic move to extend the country's oil and gas production lifespan into the coming decades.
Temporary tax breaks were introduced by Norway's parliament in 2020 to stimulate petroleum investments amidst a period of decreased activity. This prompted a wave of submissions from energy corporations.
Final approval for field development was granted on Wednesday to nine projects led by Aker BP, three led by Equinor, and various others managed by Wintershall Dea and OMV.
"These initiatives will play a significant role in maintaining a high and stable output from Norway's continental shelf, while fostering job creation and value generation," said Terje Aasland, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, at a press briefing.
The augmentation of Norway's petroleum production has met with strong opposition from environmentalists and others who are alarmed about the carbon emissions resulting from burning oil and gas, which exacerbates climate change.
The Norwegian government maintains that the country's oil and gas assets are crucial for Europe's energy security and will remain in demand for the foreseeable future.
Norway ascended to the position of Europe's leading gas supplier last year, surpassing Russia when it reduced supplies during the Ukraine conflict.