Statoil promises more new jobs

Statoil offers to pay property tax and promises 2000 new jobs in Northern Norway if offshore Lofoten and Vesterålen is opened up for oil production, the newspaper Nordlys writes.

The promises are included in a new report, in which Statoil writes that it will use NOK 120 million in the three northern counties to develop new local service suppliers, support technical education and encourage apprentices to enter the oil industry.

The report is seen as an attempt to show the positive effects of oil offshore oil production in Northern Norway.

Offshore Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja are among the most important spawning grounds for cod in Norwegian waters, and sceptics have long argued against drilling for oil in these areas, pointing out the dangers of oil spills in these vulnerable waters.

Environmental organisation Naturvernforbundet says Statoil's promises of 2000 new jobs in the region are not credible.

The Norwegian government will decide by nest spring on whether or not the question should be further analyzed through a new consequence stydy.

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