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Icelandic Oil Rush Begins

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Published December 6, 2012

As international interest in Iceland’s oil potential grows, foreign companies are taking a closer look and buying drilling licences.
The Dragon Area, located in the northeast corner of Iceland’s territorial waters, has long been suspected to be rich in oil and natural gas. Last February, The National Energy Authority reported that Britain’s TGS and Norway’s Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research found fairly conclusive evidence of the existence of oil.
As billions of barrels of oil are suspected to be in the Arctic, this discovery prompted a heated round of bidding for licences. The Norwegian, Russian and British have all shown an interest in the Dragon Area.
BBC now reports that one Scottish company, Faroe Petroleum, has secured provisional exploration licences for the area.
Chief executive of Faroe Petroleum Graham Stewart told BBC, “We are very pleased to announce our entry into Iceland’s offshore, which represents an important extension of our frontier exploration portfolio in the UK west of Shetlands, Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Barents Sea. As with our Norwegian Barents Sea licences, this new Icelandic Jan Mayen Ridge licence has significant hydrocarbon potential, and is located in ice-free waters.”
It is unknown how much oil or natural gas is located in the Dragon Area, but a significant reserve discovery could be a boon to Iceland’s lagging, albeit recovering, economy.



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Sheep Break Free, Police Called

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The Police in Mosfellsbær, a small town east of Reykjavík, received a call after two sheep at Árbæjarsafn made a run for it, reports Vísir. Árbæjarsafn, also known as Reykjavík City Museum aims to give its visitors an insight into the living conditions, work and recreational activities of the people of Reykjavík in earlier times. The sheep belong to the museum but saw an opportunity yesterday and took it by breaking free. Unfortunately for them, they did not make it far and were quickly rounded up by local, Ívar Óli Kristjánsson. Museum staff picked the sheep up, returning them to Árbæjarsafn.

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Icelandic Symphony Orchestra Debuts At BBC Proms

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The Iceland Symphony Orchestra made its Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday, reports RÚV. The Symphony performed works by two homegrown composers, both inspired by Iceland’s geology. The slow-growing, primal Geysir by Jón Leifs balanced the shifting tectonics of Hauk Tómasson’s Magma. “We felt so great,” said Concertmaster Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir. “We could have played on that stage for 50 years. There was no stress, it was just absolutely wonderful, I can’t explain it any other way.” The BBC Proms is a summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and events founded in 1985.

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Immigrant Children To Get Mother Tongue Classes

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The City of Reykjavík is making preparations to set up mother tongue classes for primary school children of foreign origin. According to an announcement posted on City Hall’s webpage, the School and Recreation Council has passed a measure to set up a workgroup whose purpose it will be to outline how immigrant primary school children will be taught their native languages. The group will be comprised of representatives from all the parties in City Council, directed by Social Democrat vice councilperson Sa­bine Leskopf. The focus of the group will be to assess the need for children of foreign origin to

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88 Fin Whales Culled So Far

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Over half the quota of fin whales has been culled so far this summer, showing a slight decline from the year previous. Since whaling season began last June 15, Vísir reports, 88 fin whales have been culled. The maximum quota is for 154 fin whales, which may only be hunted during a 3-month period. “It’s being going decently well,” Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the plant manager of whaling company Hvalur hf. “There are a bit fewer animals than there were at this same time last year. It’s been a difficult time, but it’ll work out.” Greenpeace, amongst others, have pointed out

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Nói Síríusly Looking For Candy Tasters

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Icelandic candy manufacturer Nói Síríus is searching for volunteers for a “tasting panel” for the company’s product development department. The tasters chosen would be sent new candy prototypes and asked to mark them, to help Nói Síríus decide which products should make it into production. In the past few years 40-50 families have been sent these prototypes to try out but the company has now decided to expand the testing group and advertised the position on Facebook. Vísir reports that within 20 minutes 514 people had volunteered and at time of writing over 1.300 people had commented on the post,

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Scientists Can’t Agree On Bárðarbunga Eruption

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Scientist have been busy interpreting the newest data from Bárðarbunga but cannot seem to agree on what precisely the data indicates, reports Vísir. Kristín Vogfjörð, Director of Research at the Icelandic Met Office believes that based on her interpretations of the GPS data, the pressure is receding and the likelihood of eruption is minimising. Meanwhile, Ingi Þorleifur Bjarnason, a research scholar with the Insitute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland interprets the data differently, believing that the pressure is increasing and that the volcano is rising in preparation for eruption. Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, geophysicist and professor at the University of Iceland

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