Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Norway to offer Arctic oil exploration licences and flights between Norwegian cities are among the most flown in Europe, plus other news from Norway on Wednesday.
Norway to offer a record number of oil and gas exploration licences
Norway said Tuesday that it plans to offer a record number of exploration licences in the Arctic, with the news being condemned as an "aggressive" promotion of fossil fuels.
The Scandinavian nation -- Europe's primary natural gas supplier and a significant oil producer -- proposed 92 exploration blocks, including an unprecedented 78 in the Barents Sea in the far north. The other 14 are in the Norwegian Sea near the Arctic Circle.
"New discoveries remain necessary to continue to develop the Norwegian plateau" and are important for Europe, Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland said in a statement.
The announcement is part of an annual granting of exploration licences in "mature zones" that have already been widely explored for oil.
Truls Gulowsen, head of the Norwegian branch of Friends of the Earth, condemned an "extremely aggressive" cycle of concessions presented as the United Nations and the International Energy Agency discourage further oil exploration from achieving climate goals.
Flights between Norwegian cities are among the most frequent in Europe
The routes between Oslo and Trondheim and Oslo and Bergen were the fifth busiest flight routes in all of Europe last year, according to European data agency Eurostat.
There were around 22 departures a day between Trondheim to Oslo and Oslo to Trondheim in 2022. Flights between Bergen and Oslo saw 19 flights in each direction.
Norwegians' flying habits contributed twice as many CO2 emissions as Swedish, French and German air passengers.
Flights between Oslo and Trondheim contributed to 11 percent of all emissions from domestic flights in Norway.
Number of consumers enquiring about energy increasing
The number of enquiries to the Norwegian Consumer Council from Norwegians about their energy arrangement increased by 70 percent between 2021 and 2022, the Norwegian news bureau NTB reports.
Cancellation of fixed price agreements, demands for advance payment, shock bills and lack of right of withdrawal resulted in a record high number of electricity inquiries.
However, questions about the purchase of used cars were still the most asked about issue by Norwegians. The Norwegian Consumer Council acts as a consumer watchdog.
Some 5,000 inquiries regarding used cars were lodged with the watchdog last year.
Record number of new claims for patient claims for compensation
Last year, 7,079 people applied for patient injury compensation in Norway, an increase of eight percent. For the fifth year in a row, one billion kroner, in total, was paid out in compensation.
One in five compensation claims – 22 per cent – concerns incorrect treatment in musculoskeletal and orthopaedics.
"We believe that a main reason why the number of applications increases from year to year is that more and more people are aware that they can apply for compensation in the event of incorrect processing. We have also had an increase in claims following injuries related to corona vaccination", Acting Director Anne-Mette Gulaker in Norwegian Patient Injury Compensation service (NPE) told NTB.