Goliat and Saami

Goliat and Saami

December 2, 2008

Norut Alta has prepared an impact assessment report about the impact that development of the Goliat oil field in the Barents Sea may have on Saami conditions in the region.

There has been a long-running debate in the media about whether oil from the Goliat field should be processed on-shore or off-shore. Another question is what impact the various construction alternatives will have on Saami communities and livelihoods in the region.

Norut Alta - Áltá was commissioned to write the report by Eni Norge. This is part of Eni Norge's impact assessment for Goliat, which is now out for comment.

Norut Alta - Áltá concludes that the construction and operation of the Goliat oil field may have both negative and positive impacts on Saami communities and livelihoods in the region.

The renewable resource-based trades (reindeer herding, fisheries and use of outlying fields) will experience negative impacts through the loss of areas along the Finnmark coast as well as increased traffic in important fishing areas around the Goliat oil field.

On-shore oil processing will lead to large negative impacts for the local reindeer herding business through the resulting loss of grazing land. In all likelihood, there will be large negative consequences on fisheries in the region, due to increased traffic of shuttle tankers and offloading of oil at sea.

Positive consequences of the Goliat development include increased employment and higher economic activity in the area, even though the number of new oil-related jobs will be limited in the Saami areas. The numbers of new oil-related jobs vary little between the three alternative development concepts.

Report abstract in English.

Contakt: Research Scientist Ingunn Ims Vistnes at Norut Alta - Áltá.