Marine seismic companies are eyeing the business potential of deep-sea mining offshore Norway, an activity now being endorsed by the government in Oslo.

SeaBird Exploration and TGS have both indicated early interest in participating in ongoing initiatives to give Norway a worldwide lead in environmentally acceptable exploitation of seabed minerals.

The country is in the unusual position of being one of the few nations that has a geological spreading ridge within its territorial waters, and therefore is not bound by the current United Nations agreement — of which Norway is one of over 160 signatories — restricting deep-sea mining in international waters.