Scottish oil explorer Cairn Energy said yesterday a more cautious approach from Greenland’s new government to the award of permits had no impact on preparations for its 2014 drilling programme.
Greenland’s incoming government believes the country already has a sufficient number of oil licenses, according to Erik Kirkegaard, who is due to become mining and oil minister.
The opening of the country of 57,000 people to international miners and oil firms has aroused concern among its indigenous Inuit people, many of whom rely on fishing for a living and fear exploitation of resources and risks of pollution. Mr Kirkegaard said Greenland would honour contracts with firms hoping to extract some of the tens of billions of barrels of oil believed to be in the area.
Drilling in the region in 2010 and 2011 failed to yield any discoveries despite a £780million campaign led by Cairn.
A spokeswoman for Cairn said yesterday: “Cairn and its joint-venture partners Statoil and Nunaoil continue to work towards its proposed exploration drilling programme in 2014, subject to the necessary approvals. There has been no communication received either from the government or the BMP (the bureau of minerals and petroleum) regarding any changes to future drilling.”