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News // Russia

Russia To Extend Cooperation With Norway

11 November 2005 , 09:52442
Russia is likely to cooperate closer with Norway on developing oil and gas resources in the Arctic and played down disputes over fisheries and a maritime boundary.

Russia and Norway are one of the world?s biggest two and three oil exporters respectively behind Saudi Arabia and both are looking north for new deposits. By some U.S. estimates, the Arctic could hold a quarter of the world?s undiscovered petroleum reserves.

?I am convinced that there will be a closer cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector,? Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

He met on Thursday for talks with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere in Harstad in the Arctic Circle. Lavrov said cooperation could include both production of oil and gas and specialized equipment for work in the Barents Sea region where costs are high because of factors including freezing cold, winter darkness and risks of icebergs.

He noted that Norwegian energy groups Statoil and Norsk Hydro were on a short-list of five foreign companies, along with Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Total, to help Russia?s natural gas monopoly Gazprom develop the vast Shtokman gas field in the Arctic.

Lavrov and Stoere said they would work to avert new disputes over fish stocks in the north Atlantic and to resolve a three-decade dispute over fixing a maritime boundary off their northern coasts. Stoere said the bilateral relationship was going through the most rapid and dynamic development, referring to issues including energy, trade and culture.

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