Norway and China to explore offshore Iceland

Iceland_satelliteThere’s no stopping the ambition of China to seek out minerals in the Atlantic waters. News from Oslo, reported by Reuters, said the country would be teaming up with Chinese oil firm CNOOC to explore oil drilling in waters near Iceland.

Despite a coolness between the two countries following the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize to Liu Xiabao, considered a dissident back in China, the co-operation to explore oil deposits in the waters between Iceland and Norway will go ahead.

“Icelandic authorities are now planning to allocate an additional licence as part of the second licensing round, and Norway should participate,” the Norwegian oil ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Norway is authorised to seek licences awarded by the Icelandic government as part of a 1981 treaty between the two, and seek outside partners. Two such licences were awarded in January and another was handed out in June to CNOOC with local firm Eykon Energy.

China has shown considerable interest in the region, said to contain some 90 billion barrels of oil according to a US Geological Survey. They signed a free trade agreement with Iceland in April.