Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Iceland’s Oil Dream Is in Peril

Visitors watch Gooafoss waterfall near Myvatn in Iceland. 

Visitors watch Gooafoss waterfall near Myvatn in Iceland. 

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Europe
Updated on

Iceland’s hope of finding oil offshore its coast is fading after China and Norway decided to back out of the island nation’s only remaining exploration license.

Cnooc Ltd., China’s state-controlled producer, and Petoro AS, Norway’s state-owned oil company, decided to relinquish their interest in the license, Iceland’s National Energy Authority said in a statement on Tuesday. Their junior partner, Eykon Energy ehf, says it wishes to keep its 15 percent stake, but the agency said the small explorer doesn’t have the technical or financial capacity to continue operations alone.