Norwegians Begin Oil Exploration In Icelandic Waters - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Norwegians Begin Oil Exploration In Icelandic Waters

Published July 28, 2011

Norwegian oil exploration has begun in the northeastern point of Icelandic territorial waters, and there are indications that there is oil to be found there.

As Grapevine reported last fall, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin expressed an interest to then-visiting president Ólafur Ragnar Grímmsson in searching for oil in the Dragon Zone, an area in the northeast of Iceland’s fishing waters which is reputed to contain up to one-fourth of the world’s oil and gas needs, although no drilling has begun there. Icelandic foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson said at that time that Iceland wants to develop their friendship with Russia, that Iceland regards the country as “a big and friendly neighbour”.

Norway apparently beat our big and friendly neighbour to the punch, though, as RÚV reports that Norway has begun exploration in the area already.

Working in cooperation with the National Energy Authority, two expeditions have already been undertaken. After mapping the ocean floor with sonar, a submarine was sent to the bottom to take mineral samples. These samples seem to indicate the presence of oil beneath the surface.

Kristinn Einarsson, the project manager from the National Energy Authority, said that he does not want to give too much away about the exploration thus far, but that results will be released this fall.

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