Norwegian Language Blog

Norway and Russia agree in Barents Sea Posted by on Apr 28, 2010 in Nature, Norway and the world


For mange tiår (decades) Norway and Russia have argued over ownership of 175,000 sq. km. in Barentshavet (the Barents Sea).  You might be wondering what the big deal is about Barentshavet.  It’s just water, right?  No, it’s money, and lots of it.  Tens of billions of barrells of olje (oil) and 1-3 of the world’s undiscovered natural gass (gas) are believed to be sleeping peacefully in this disputed area of Barentshavet.  Now both countries will likely benefit from the wealth under this sea.

Just today Russia’s President Dmitiri Medvedev and Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg struck a kompromiss (compromise), and a rettferdig (fair) one at that!  Although the details have yet to be worked out,  the kompromiss provides each country with half of the 68,ooo sq. mile territory.  Prior to the meeting between Medvedev and Stoltenberg, experts on relations between the 2 countries did not expect such a breakthrough.  As we know all too well from countless other international conflicts, it is hard for countries to give up something they have fought for for so long, especially if it means giving up the opportunity for such great wealth.  I think any country would have fought as hard as these two did for the opportunities that lay beneath the water’s surface.  I’m not so sure some other countries would have reached a kompromiss quite as easily.

Now more than ever it is important to straighten out ownership of this area in Barentshavet.  Globaleoppvarming (global warming) is shrinking the ice that has previously hindered shipping and olje exploration.  Both countries have already begun to develop the ressurser (resources) in the area.  The Norwegian company Statoil, the world’s largest offshore olje and gass company brought the Snøhvit natural gas field on line a few years ago, while Russia has been developing the Shtokman natural gas field.

More important perhaps than the enormous wealth that will undoubtedly come from this disputed area in
Barentshavet is the newfound cooperative spirit in the north.  This cooperation will hopefully lead to increased trade and industry development, as well as cultural relations and employment opportunities.  Let’s give a hand to Medvedev and Stoltenberg and their closest advisors for coming to this kompromiss.

I welcome any and all comments, whether they be in support of the olje and gass exploration in the area, or in protest based on environmental concerns.


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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!