UK & Norway Yet to Reach Gas Transportation Agreement
The weekend meeting between Norway and United Kingdom in the Shetland Islands to hammer out details for the treaty that will regulate the transport of Norwegian gas to the UK was did not meet with much success.
Norwegian shelf operators want a treaty before they invest in infrastructure, including a planned 1,200-kilometer pipeline to carry Norwegian gas to the British market, Europe's biggest gas market. The two countries had aimed to sign a treaty by the end of March, but they have been unable to agree on legal jurisdiction for the pipeline.
The Norwegian Oil and Energy Minister Einar Steensnaes said they have made substantial progress on certain issues and details, but are still working on the main document and will need to meet several more times before a final agreement can be reached.
Britain is set to become a net importer of gas by 2005 as its North Sea gas reserves dwindle. Gas-rich Norway wants to boost exports to the UK, which analysts say may need to import 70 to 80 percent of its gas by 2020.