Statoil ASA gave the final go-ahead to a flagship Arctic oil project after slashing costs by half.
While expected, the move by Norway’s biggest oil company is a boost to a region seen as key to arresting a decline in the country’s production.
Castberg is the world’s biggest offshore oil project to get the go-ahead this year, with resources of 450 million to 650 million barrels, according to Statoil. The decision comes at a critical time for the industry’s Arctic ambitions. The Barents is thought to hold about half of Norway’s undiscovered oil and gas, yet Norwegians are increasingly debating whether further exploration makes moral or financial sense amid efforts to fight climate change.