Norway’s new oil minister says Lofoten moratorium remains in place

Kjell-Boerge Freiberg replaces outgoing replaces Terje Soeviknes.

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A fishing boat enters the harbour at the Arctic port of Svolvaer in northern Norway in a March 4, 2013 file photo. The prospect of drilling in the waters off the Lofoten Archipelago has been a controversial one. (Alister Doyle / Reuters file photo)

OSLO — Norway’s moratorium on oil exploration in the waters around the Arctic Lofoten-Vesteraalen-Senja archipelago will remain in place, the country’s new oil minister Kjell-Boerge Freiberg told reporters on Friday.

The oil industry has for many years sought to explore the region, but this is a controversial political topic in Norway.

Kjell-Boerge Freiberg, a former mayor of a town in the Lofoten region, replaces Terje Soeviknes, who had been oil minister for only 20 months, in a cabinet reshuffle.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik.