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Milestone in Norwegian-British co-operation

Bilateral talks during the last two years have led to a Framework Treaty on cross-boundary petroleum co-operation to further collaboration between the two countries, the oil companies and the supply industry. Energy Ministers Mrs Widvey and Mr O'Brien met on 3rd February to finalise the agreement

11/02/2005 :: The Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mrs Thorhild Widvey and the British Energy Minister, Mr Mike O'Brien, met at Sanderstoelen on 3 February to mark the finalisation of the negotiations on a Norwegian-British Framework Treaty regarding cross-boundary petroleum co-operation.

The Framework Treaty is the result of extensive bilateral talks between the two Governments. The Treaty will be signed during spring, and subsequently submitted to the Storting and the Parliament for ratification.

-The finalisation of the Framework Treaty negotiations represents a milestone in our bilateral co-operation. Talks during the last two years have lead to favourable solutions when it comes to governmental administration of cross-border projects, commented the Norwegian minister.

Framework Treaty means value creation
-We have now laid the foundation for a long term co-operation which will be mutually beneficial to both countries. I am convinced that this Framework Treaty will contribute to value creation. It paves the way for an efficient treatment of joint projects and demonstrates the willingness of both Governments to facilitate pragmatic solutions, says Minister Widvey.

-I now encourage the industry to make use of the new Framework Treaty as a springboard for the start-up of new projects, both large and small.

More predictability and simpler procedures
The objective of the Framework Treaty has been to establish more predictability for the industry and simpler procedures for the two Governments. This should pave the way for new projects and more efficient exploitation of the petroleum resources in the North Sea.

The Treaty will cover a number of future projects. Relevant projects are primarily the construction and operation of pipelines transporting oil and gas from Norway to the UK, the joint exploitation of reservoirs straddling the boarder line and the joint use of infrastructure.

Ormen Lange is first major project
The first major project which will falls under the Treaty is the transportation of gas from the Ormen Lange field offshore Kristiansund in Norway through a new pipeline (Langeled) via the Sleipner field to the UK. The export through Langeled will cover up to 20 per cent of the UK gas market. The Ormen Lange field will start producing in 2007, while the pipeline from Sleipner will be in place in 2006 to transport other Norwegian gas the first year.

Treaty has facilitated Boa and Playfair
The Treaty implies a strengthening of the co-operation between the two countries, the oil companies and the supply industry. It has already facilitated the development of two small oil fields, Boa on the Norwegian side and Playfair on the UK side.

Two cross-boundary fields, Blane and Enoch, will follow. The two energy ministers are in agreement that projects may be initiated without having to wait for the formal conclusion of the Treaty.

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Minister of Petroleum and Energy Mrs Thorhild Widvey

Energy Minister Mr Mike O'Brien