SPACE | NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.


That marked the starting point of the Norwegian “petroleum fairy tale”.

Petroleum exploitation still runs at a high level in the North Sea. But all fairy tales have an end.

Today it is widely accepted that as much as two-thirds of the undiscovered petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf are to be found not in the North Sea, but further north in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

This fact is no doubt one important reason why the Norwegian government has singled out the High North as Norway’s most important strategic area of commitment for the future. The government emphasises that knowledge generation is at the hub of official High North thinking.

What is at stake in the High North? What kind of knowledge is needed and who is responsible for providing it? These are some of the questions that we wish to highlight and

find answers to in the following pages.