Activists protest against Norway Arctic oil licenses

The protest came a day after Norway awarded several exploration licenses for offshore areas in the Barents Sea.

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OSLO — A group of environmental activists chained themselves in front of the Norwegian oil and energy ministry on Thursday to protest against the awarding of new oil exploration licenses in the Arctic.

Carrying banners that said “No to new oil” and “Norwegian oil is boiling the planet” three campaigners sat in chains in front of the entry to the ministry from about 0600 GMT as ministry workers arrived for work.

Norway on Wednesday awarded four exploration licenses to seven oil companies, including three for the Arctic Barents Sea, although fewer oil companies applied for the permits than in previous licensing rounds.

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“We’re demonstrating here today because Norway is keeping on handing out new oil licences even though we’re in the midst of a climate crisis,” said demonstrator Halvard Raavand, 30, wearing an “oil free Arctic” black face mask.

Earlier, demonstrators glued images of individuals carrying slogans such as “keep the oil in the ground” on the windows of the ministry.

Reporting by Gwladys Fouche.