Search for oil in Icelandic waters to begin? Skip to content

Search for oil in Icelandic waters to begin?

A report regarding the search for oil in Icelandic waters was released by the Icelandic National Energy Authority (OS) on Monday. If accepted, the search could begin next year.

The territory mentioned in the report as a likely oil zone is known as drekasvaedid (“the dragon zone”), located on the Jan Mayen ridge off Iceland’s northeastern coast and only partly in Icelandic waters, as RÚV reports.

“There are about 3,600 square kilometers, which we consider very promising and we have to investigate more closely,” said OS’ project leader Kristinn Einarsson. “Compared with the size of other such areas abroad, this is quite large.”

OS believes oil can be found in the dragon zone at a depth of 1,500 meters.

The next step involves plans and environmental impact estimations put before parliament. Once they have been accepted, laws have to be changed and taxes and tariffs agreed upon. After approximately one year, permits for research could be issued to private companies.

“We believe it is our duty to harness our natural resources as much as we can and see whether there are opportunities [in the dragon zone],” Einarsson said. “I’m fairly certain there is oil there, but time will show whether there is enough oil to be harnessed.”

It takes 24 hours to travel to the dragon zone by ship and it can only be reached by air with larger helicopters.

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