Icelanders can expect that after 2025 there will be three oil zones north of the country, in the Dragon Zone, off eastern Greenland and by Jan Mayen, as stated in a speech by Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson at a meeting hosted by Arion Bank on Thursday.
Specialists of the Arctic Council will discuss preventive measures against oil pollution in the Arctic regions in Keflavík, Iceland, June 10-12, including lessons from the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Photo courtesy of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Icelandic government plans to develop services in north Iceland in relation with all three zones and has discussed establishing Icelandic service centers in Greenland and Norway in collaboration with local authorities, a press release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs reports.
The minister is optimistic that sufficient oil for fuel production will be discovered in the Dragon Zone and stated that last year’s studies have provided solid proof that there is oil in the area.
He added that it would be most beneficial for Icelanders to establish a special natural resource fund to guarantee that possible profits from oil production in the coming decade don’t lead to instability and over-expansion of the Icelandic economy.
Össur mentioned that he has already had formal talks with Prime Minister of Greenland Kuupik Kleist on collaborating on developing services and infrastructure for the energy triangle of Iceland, Greenland and Jan Mayen.
Össur has also discussed the matter with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Støre and they have agreed to continue those discussions at a formal meeting during Össur’s official visit to Norway later this year.
The minister stated that oil production north of Iceland must be conducted with extreme care. It should only be permitted within strict environmental legal framework and not begin unless necessary equipment to prevent pollution has been established.
Click here to read about oil exploration in the Dragon Zone.