According to recent reports dubbed “sensational”, Norway’s previous government, led by current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, may have withheld key data to more quickly open parts of the Barents Sea for exploration.
According to a bombshell report by Norwegian national broadcaster NRK, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy knew already in 2013 that oil exploration in the southeast Barents Sea could lead to substantial losses, yet withheld its calculations from parliament.
Among others, the Energy Ministry concluded that if the oil price fell by 30 percent, the entire southeast part of the Barents Sea would turn “red”, financially speaking. Even with oil prices rising to $120 a barrel, there was a 25 percent chance that the resources would become unprofitable. Instead, however, the parliament was informed that the oil in the area could be worth between NOK 50 and 280 billion ($5.5-30.5 billion) without any reservations. This calculation was predicated on the assumption of record high oil prices of $120 per barrel being sustained for the next 20 years, before an oil price crash in late 2014.
The information provided in the 2013 report only surfaced seven years later, which led to parliament, oblivious of the entire picture, unanimously backing oil exploration in the southeast part of the Barents Sea in 2013. Nor was it revealed when the district court and the court of appeal were to hear the climate lawsuit against the state, NRK