The Oslo District Court has today, 4 January 2018, delivered its judgment in the case concerning the validity of decision awarding oil and gas production licenses in the Arctic waters of Norway, in the Barents Sea.
What is the case about
The case is about the validity of the decision taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and validated by the King in Council on 10 June 2016, to award petroleum production licenses as part of the 23rd licensing round in an area close to the ice edge in the South East of the Barents Sea. This happened after that the ice edge line was moved further North and the opening of new areas int eh Barent Sea in 2013 in that region.
The plantiffs are two environmental organisations, GreenPeace Norway and Natur and Ungdom, who submitted that the decission was illegal on two grounds:
- the new provision of §112 of the Norwegian Constitution (environment provision) was breached;
- the decision was unfounded and breached administrative law procedural requirements by an incomplete impact assessment.