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News Summary: Norway opens Arctic area to drilling

The Associated Press

DRILL HERE: Norway opened an area about the size of Switzerland on the Arctic Ocean's fringe to offshore oil drilling, despite protests from opponents who fear catastrophic oil spills in the remote region.

BIG CONCERN: Most of the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea is already open to petroleum activities. But environmentalists said the risk to Arctic sea ice is higher in the area straddling the Russian maritime border, and wanted to make parts of it off limits.

OIL RICHES: Norway is one of the world's richest countries per capita thanks to its energy industry. It's moving into the Arctic region as production in the North Sea declines.