Speech/statement | Date: 04/06/2021
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru gave this opening speech at the Marine Minerals 2021 hosted by GCE Ocean Technology and Norwegian forum for Marine Minerals (NMM) on June 3rd 2021.
Good morning everyone,
A lot has changed, from the time the first Norwegians discovered and harvested from the plentiful natural resources outside our coast thousands years ago…
…and to today, where we have tremendous oil and gas installations offshore, floating wind turbines and autonomous vehicles operating at the bottom of the sea.
Througout Norwegian history, our ocean resources have been the common denominator that we have built our wealth, industry and welfare on.
We are now about to start what can be the next chapter in our marine story: mining of seabed minerals.
Today we will discuss the opportunities,the legal framework and both the environmental and technological aspects required to secure a sustainable development for this new industry.
The challenges of climate change and a fast-growing global population will increase the demand for both specific resources and clean energy.
Balancing these challenges is at the core of the energy transition – and seabed minerals can provide part of the answer. Because a lot of the resources we are seeing an increased demand for, are minerals.
Minerals are needed for solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. Resources we once again find ourselves blessed with in our ocean space.
Seabed minerals – and its potential for industrial development, employment and value creation – is high on the agenda in Norway.
The ongoing mapping of the Norwegian Continental Shelf has so far revealed important mineral resources.
Furthermore, our service and supply industry is well positioned to take an active part in the exploration and extraction of seabed minerals – given their track record in technology, deep sea activities and operations in harsh and remote environments.
However, the development of this industry dependson our ability to harvest these ocean resources in a responsible and sustainable way, something we have a long tradition for in Norway. And I strongly believe you are able to develop technologies and methods to build further on this tradition in a new industry.
As many of you know, we will shortly finalize the program for an impact assessment, which will highlight the environmental effects, as well as impacts on other ocean-based industries, business, financing and social factors.
All this to be able to make a decision on whether we should open areas for seabed mineral activity or not, based on thebest possible knowledge.
Also, the Norwegian government will, on June 11th, present a white paper discussing long-term value creation from Norwegian energy resources. Seabed minerals and its potential for a new industry, value creation and jobs in Norway will of course be a part of this.
So, ladies and gentlemen,
I am optimistic, and I think we have the best starting point for what could become a new and important ocean industry for Norway.
There is a demand, which is likely to increase – and the resources are both present and accessible on the continental shelf.
Let me assure you that the Norwegian government will do its part so that we can read about the ocean – and seabed minerals, - as a contributor to our welfare in the history books of the future.
But now it's up to you to work together to develop the technologies and methods needed to harvest in a sustainable way.
Thank you for your attention, and I wish you a productive meeting today.