Environmental activists from Extinction Rebellion staged a demonstration at Norway’s Petroleum & Energy Ministry this week against the government’s continued support for the country’s key oil and gas industry.

Around 40 activists were reportedly arrested after blocking a busy intersection at the top of Karl Johan Street in Oslo, the capital’s main street, as they brandished a banner stating "The Oil Age is Over" and demanding action to shift the country away from fossil fuel exploitation.


Energy explored: Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here.

Showing 'vulnerability' of mankind

One female activist sat topless in front of the ministry covered in a black substance that resembled oil by a fellow protester dressed in a suit, while the phrase "+4degrees C!" was daubed on one of the windows of the building, in reference to the continued threat of global warming.

“I want to show the vulnerability of mankind by being naked. We are vulnerable to the climate crisis we are facing,” activist Sara van der Moer, aged 31, told national broadcaster NRK.

She claimed petitions do not work, so she decided to use her body as a more powerful symbol.

The backdrop for the protest on Monday was German operator Wintershall Dea's decision to contract Odfjell Drilling-owned semi-submersible rig Deepsea Aberdeen to carry out further exploration off Norway after the unit's role with BP was terminated.

'Enough's enough'

One of the demonstrators, Dag Kolsto, told NRK: “Enough’s enough. The government has to stop the oil industry. We will continue to create disturbances until they have stopped the oil industry.”

In another demonstration by the activist group, protesters gathered outside the Trade & Fisheries Ministry in the capital, dressed up in fish costumes and glued their hands to the wall.

Police operations leader Vidar Pedersen was quoted as saying the activists demanded that the government acknowledge “global warming and the destruction of the biosphere”.

However, Stefan Heggelund, a parliamentary member for the ruling Conservative Party, called the protesters “a spoiled mob”, adding: “You don’t win much sympathy for the climate with this.”