Global energy demand and scarce petroleum resources require communities to adapt to a rapidly changing Arctic environment, but as well to a transforming socio-economic environment instigated by oil and gas development. This is illustrated by liquefied natural gas production by Statoil at Hammerfest, which opened up the Barents Sea for oil and gas drilling. Although environmental organisations, Sámi indigenous people, fisheries and local inhabitants of Hammerfest try to strive for environmental and community development in relation to liquefied natural gas production by engaging in negotiations with Statoil and the Norwegian government, they are overshadowed by economic growth, implemented by a strong coalition between Statoil and the Norwegian State. Sustainable development of liquefied natural gas production is therefore constrained by centralized decision-making by the institutional coalition. Statoil’s concessions on environmental and community development were rather based on cost-efficient and short-term means. This is strengthened by the fact that contact with stakeholders faded away once the social license to operate was achieved. This article will analyse why current governance of liquefied natural gas production at Hammerfest did not move beyond economic development.
- Marine community
- Small Island Developing State
- Sustainable development