chapter  12
The whistle-blower
ByJoseph McGlynn III
Pages 10

Sandnessjoen is a small, picturesque port town now doubling as the administrative center of Alstahaug, an archipelago municipality in northern Norway. Historically, its economy centered on fishing, shipping, and agriculture. But when the British oil giant BP announced, in 2007, that it would be developing the Skarv oil-and-gas field off the coast of nearby Helgeland, the entire area began experiencing oil-and-gas fever. Despite such critics, the municipal administration seems to have made well-founded decisions. On Christmas Eve, 1969, the Norwegian Government got an excited call from Ocean Viking, an exploration rig operated by Phillips Petroleum, announcing its discovery of 'Ekofisk' the first exploitable oil-and-gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf. The majority of potential suppliers are situated in Rana and in Vefsn, while Alstahaug and Bronnoy primarily hold the infrastructure needed to serve these activities (supply base and heliport, respectively).