Further strengthening of the EC – Norway energy cooperation

Due to State Budget meetings in Oslo, the Energy Dialogue meeting between the EU Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Andris Piebalgs, and the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, has now been postponed until 15 September.

In a telephone conference today, they agreed to further strengthen the energy cooperation by establishing a Joint EC-Norway Energy Cooperation Group. Its main task will be to examine the whole spectrum of energy issues and make concrete proposals to the Ministerial meetings. Both parties reaffirmed their mutual interest for close and comprehensive consultations on key energy issues. Norway is a major exporter of oil and gas to the European Union and an integral part of the EU internal energy market through the European Economic Area Agreement.

“This Co-operation Group should help us to better exploit the significant potential in energy co-operation between the EU and Norway” said Commissioner Piebalgs afterwards. “Our dialogue has been excellent for years, but this way we hope to make it more results-oriented.”

“The EU is our largest market for oil and gas, and our supplies represent a considerable part of the oil and gas consumption in the EU” said minister Enoksen. “This calls for very close relations, and through the new joint Energy Co-operation Group we will have an excellent opportunity to examine energy issues of mutual interest, especially with regard to oil and gas.”

Both parties underlined the importance of ensuring that the energy dialogue between the EU and Norway reflects the interests of energy producers and consumers alike. The dialogue is founded on the common perception that energy plays a key role in achieving the objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply.

They will schedule for an Energy Dialogue meeting in the first half next year. Key theme for that meeting will be the Joint EC-Norway Energy Cooperation Group paper on security of supply and security of demand in the EEA. There will also be discussions on the recommendations from the Group on further work to enhance cooperation on energy issues and concrete measures to be adopted on both sides based on the overview of energy cooperation. 

Contact details for the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy: 
Sissel Edvardsen +47/22246109, +47/90197382, e-mail: [email protected]

(August 30, 2006)

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