Project summary

Many players involved in petroleum (oil and gas) exploration and extraction focus on the importance of social and environmental sustainability, as key elements of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yet there is a lack of common understanding of what CSR and sustainability mean among corporations, local community sectors, NGOs, and academics.

This project aims to identify and reconcile differences in perceptions and practices of CSR in Northern Norway and Arctic Russia, providing a baseline for cross-border dialogue and collaboration amongst players related to petroleum extraction. New knowledge is generated through analysing original case studies in Norway and Russia. We are visiting Hammerfest, Nenets, Murmansk, and Komi. Quantitative local value creation analyses are used to determine what petroleum does and does not do for the local economy. Qualitative interviews are used to examine the views, interests, and economic realities of corporations, academics, NGOs, and different community sectors: local population, local government, and local businesses.

The research results will be disseminated to the communities, local governments, companies, and research institutions through popular science and academic publications and presentations as well as through local media. The aim is to create the foundation for an ongoing dialogue and enhanced collaboration between sectors and regions.


“Sustainability and Petroleum Extraction: Corporate and Community Perspectives in Northern Norway and the Russian Arctic”, Funded by the Norwegian Research Council from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015.


When petroleum companies and local peoples/governments negotiate benefit-sharing agreements for petroleum extraction, these parties agree on outcomes that may exclude aspects of social and environmental sustainability often promoted by academics and NGOs. Testing the hypothesis contributes to indicating how Norway may improve its own practices and how current practices might be applied to sustainability and resource-related collaboration with Russia.


Data come from quantitative local value creation analyses and qualitative interviews, examining the views, interests, and economic realities of corporations, academics, NGOs, and four different community sectors: indigenous peoples, non-indigenous peoples, local government, and local businesses.


Project leader Ilan Kelman, University College London.
ilan_kelman (at) hotmail.com

Project leader Julia S P Loe, Menon.
julia (at) menon.no