Norway to Examine Competition Conditions in Oil Industry


OSLO, July 20 (Reuters) - Norway's competition watchdog will look into whether competition rules are being infringed in the country's oil industry, the industry ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry has asked the competition authority to provide a "general description" of competitive conditions for oil companies and their suppliers to answer a question from a member of parliament, it said.

The question from the lawmaker is whether oil firm Statoil , which is responsible for 60 percent of Norway's oil and gas output, misuses its dominant position over suppliers, the ministry said.

"It is natural to prepare a political discussion about competition conditions on the Norwegian continental shelf on a good factual basis, both on the competition situation and whether us politicians can, or should, do something about it," Industry Minister Monica Maeland said in a statement.

The statement did not say how long this would take.

Statoil was not available for immediate comment.

Last month, BP and independent oil firm Det norske agreed to merge their Norwegian business in a $1.3 billion all-share deal, partly to counter Statoil's dominant position in the sector.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Mark Potter)


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