The 2012 fiscal budget plans for broad efforts in further developing the oil and gas activities in the north.
In the 2012 fiscal budget proposal, the Government proposes a total of NOK 84 million for acquisition of seismic in Nordland IV and V, knowledge acquisition in the northeastern Norwegian Sea and impact assessments for Jan Mayen and the Barents Sea southeast.
In addition, there are plans to spend NOK 100 million for acquisition of seismic at Jan Mayen and NOK 80 million for seismic in the Barents Sea southeast in 2012. The efforts are to a large degree a follow-up of the management plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten, which was submitted this spring.
The mapping will clarify the resource basis in the two areas. The potential for petroleum activity is an important aspect of the decision basis when considering whether to open the areas. Funds have also been earmarked for assessing consequences of petroleum activity in these areas. Assuming the impact assessments provide the basis, the Government will recommend opening these areas for petroleum activity. The matters will be submitted to the Storting.
The Government wants to strengthen the already sound knowledge regarding petroleum activity in the northeastern Norwegian Sea in several areas. In the fiscal budget, NOK 50 million has been earmarked for seismic in Nordland IV and V and funds have been pledged for a knowledge acquisition effort that will include unopened parts of Nordland IV, V, VI, VII and Troms II, with a particular focus on society, business and industry. The knowledge will be used in a potential impact assessment regarding petroleum activity pursuant to the Petroleum Act and provide a basis for the next update of the management plan.
The Government also wants to facilitate purchase of seismic data that has already been acquired.
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