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Norway, oil and climate

By Gwynne Dyer       

Nobody wants to shut all oil and gas production down now—that would be far too great a shock to the economy—but just under half the population would be willing to stop exploration now. With no new fields coming on line, that would automatically imply that production of oil and gas would taper off to virtually nothing in 20 or 30 years’ time.

One imaginable compromise that could bridge the gap between Labour and its prospective partners was outlined last week by Labour’s energy spokesperson, Espen Barth Eide, pictured. Most of the country’s oil and gas still comes from older offshore fields in the North Sea, he pointed out, but most of the untapped and unexplored reserves are in the Barents Sea, above the Arctic Circle, writes Gwynne Dyer. Photograph courtesy of Commons Wikimedia

LONDON, U.K.—You can see why Saudi Arabia wants to go on pumping as much oil as it can. Oil exports account for 87 per cent of the Saudi government budget and 42 per cent of GDP. The Saudi population, now 35 million, is growing by two-thirds of a million a year, and the country already imports 80 per cent of its food. They’d be starving in a few years if they stopped pumping.

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