Benefit-risk trade-offs in retrospect: How major stakeholders perceive the decision-making process in the Barents Sea oil field development
This study provides an analysis of risk-benefit communication and participation of the siting process for the Norwegian Goliat oil field development, within the context of a revised model of the International Risk Governance Council’s framework. The main objective of the study is a retrospective review of the decision-making process seen through the lenses of the major stakeholders involved in this process. The research design used qualitative methods of empirical research including stakeholder interviews during a five-day period in 2011 in Northern Norway. Results showed that the siting process of Goliat was dominated primarily by the issue of benefit sharing. In view of potential risks to such oil development, local stakeholders felt entitled to some compensation in terms of shared benefits. However, over the course of time the high hopes that these benefits would materialize and provide additional benefits to the communities which would then be fairly distributed among the beneficiaries have been disappointed. We review the reasons behind these results as well as formulate recommendations regarding potential improvements to the risk-benefit communication process in addition to future siting processes.