Economically strong region with a major coastline, numerous islands and fjords

The county of Nordland borders on the two Swedish regions of Norrbotten and Västerbotten and has a major coastline which included numerous islands and fjords, among them the Lofoten archipelago.

Nordland has a territory of 38,460 square kilometers and is administered from the regional capital of Bodø. The Arctic Circle cuts through the region at the Saltfjellet. The region has a well-developed infrastructure, which includes sea ports, roads, airports and railway. There are a total of 13 airports in the region and the northernmost part of the Norwegian railway network ends in Bodø. The region also has a railway connection from Narvik to Kiruna in Sweden, on which primarily Swedish iron ore is transported.

The regional economy is based on a diverse set of industries, among them fisheries, sea ports, tourism and oil and gas-related activities. The region also has a growing technology-driven industry, which is providing an increasing number of jobs.


Regional stories

Russian Arctic ports down, Norwegian up
While the Port of Murmansk has its biggest downturn in more than a decade, neigboring Norwegian ports have their best results ever.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures assembled by Patchwork Barents show that Norwegian Arctic ports for the first time in ten years have a bigger goods turnover than neighboring Russian ports, BarentsObserver reports.

The Murmansk regional ports in 2014 handled a total volume of 22,7 million tons, a 34 percent drop from the previous year, and the weakest result since 2003.

Furthermore, the negative trend continues in 2015. According to the ...

How much Arctic gas for Europe?
Gas production in northern Norwegian waters was the highest ever in 2014.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures assembled by Patchwork Barents show that Norwegian gas production in waters north of the Arctic Circle in 2014 amounted to 7,46 billion cubic meters. That is the biggest volume from the region ever, BarentsObserver reports.

A lion's share of the Norwegian Arctic production comes from Statoil's Snøhvit LNG project, the world's northernmost of its kind, which in 2014 reached a production record of 5,22 billion cubic meters.

In the more southernly Norwegian Sea, the fields located in the waters off the county of Nordland in 2014 produced a total of 2,23 million cubic meters. That volume will increase significantly as Statoil opens its Aasta Hansteen field, presumably in 2017....

New low for north Norwegian oil
Production off the coast of northern Norway drops to another record-low.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures from Patchwork Barents show that production in northern Norwegian waters in 2014 dropped to 4,3 million tons, the lowest in 20 years. At peak production in 2001, output in the area reached 18,4 million tons.

The figures include production from the fields located in the Norwegian Sea off the coast of the Nordland county, among them the Heidrun, Morvin, Norne and Urd fields.

Meanwhile, figures from other parts of the Barents Region show stable production figures. Both in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and the Komi Republic, oil production in 2014 increased to 13,5 million tons and 14,2 million tons respectively. In the Nenets AO, the increase follows five years of declining production caused primarily by Lukoil's problems with the Yuzhno-Khilchuyu field.

Amid downslide, a boom for Norwegian Arctic oil
Production in northern Norwegian waters saw a significant decline in 2013. Still, energy companies like never before rush into the area.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Figures assembled by BarentsObserver show that both oil and gas production in northern Norwegian fields dropped significantly in the course of 2013. The Snøhvit field, so far the only operating project in the Barents Sea, produced a total of 3,76 million sm3 of gas, a decline of 24 percent compared with 2012. Likewise, practically all of the fields located in the Norwegian Sea off the coast of the Nordland County had falling production figures.

In total, the north Norwegian oil production in 2013 dropped 16 percent to a total of 5,13 million SM3, while the regional gas production fell 16 percent to 6,06 million SM3, figures from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate show. The figures include production at the fields of Snøhvit, Heidrun, Morvin, Norne, Urd and Yttergryta.

The trend is in line with figures from the rest of the...

More Arctic port calls in northern Norway
Ports in northern Norway are increasingly putting on weight.For the first time, ports in northern Norway in 2012 handled more goods that ports in Barents Russia.
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For decades, Murmansk was the by far biggest port hub in the Arctic, serving a powerful fishery industry and the major mining and metallurgy enterprises of the Kola Peninsula. Today, the ports of Murmansk remain key Arctic infrastructure objects of major strategic importance to the regional economy. However, they are increasingly challenged by ports in neighboring Norway.

Data obtained by BarentsObserver show that northern Norwegian ports in 2012 handled a total of 41,4 million tons, while Russian Arctic ports the same year had a turnover of 36,6 million. The Norwegian side includes ports in the three northernmost counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, while the Russian side includes ports in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Oblasts, as well as the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

For the first time, it is now the county of...