American intelligence services wanted to pressure Norway into accepting other countries' exploiting expected petroleum resources in Svalbard’s offshore areas, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reports.
According to NRK, a formerly classified CIA document reveals that the then-president Gerald Ford ordered a document on US policy towards Svalbard. The document argued that the USA should pressure Norway into accepting foreign exploitation of the presumed petroleum resources in the Svalbard area. The CIA expected the oil resources in the area to be equivalent to those in the USA or the North Sea at the time.
The goal of the American pressure on Norway was to secure American companies’ access to drilling and exploiting petroleum resources on the continental shelf. The USA still disputes Norwegian territorial claims regarding ownership in the area.