China is the latest world superpower to join the hunt for fuel in icy Arctic waters.
Chinese state energy company CNOOC has bagged an exploration licence from Iceland’s National Energy Authority (Orkustofnun).
It is partnering with Norwegian-owned firms Eykon Energy and Petoro Iceland to drill for oil in the Dreki region, inside the Arctic Circle to the north east of Iceland.
Orkustofnun said earlier this year it checked the firms had “sufficient financial strength” to carry out drilling for the long-term and that they can handle the “corresponding environmental and safety elements”.
CNOOC which is China’s largest oil and gas producer has a 60% share of the Icelandic licence, with Eykon taking 15% and Petoro 25%.