Norway, China Shake Hands on Continued Cooperation in Petroleum Sector

During her visit to China this week, Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Energy Liv Monica Stubholt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in the Petroleum Sector together with Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Mr. Zhang Guobao.

Mr. Guobao is responsible for the National Energy Administration (NEA). The signing ceremony took place in Beijing on January 12, 2009 after their bilateral meeting, which also included discussions on environmental technologies and carbon capture and storage.

Norway and China have had a close cooperation in the petroleum sector for more than 25 years. This new MOU takes the cooperation to a new level and is proof of Norway's strong reputation as a leading offshore petroleum producer. Both parties highlight in the MOU that enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries in the petroleum sector will be mutually beneficial, both with regard to the environment, energy security and the sustainable economic development of the two countries, says Stubholt.

The MOU especially emphasizes the importance of enhanced consultations and exchange of information on policies related to petroleum activities, strategies, technologies, projects and personnel training in the petroleum sector. Creating opportunities and accommodating cooperation between petroleum enterprises of the two countries are other important aspects.

During her stay in China, Deputy Minister Stubholt gave a key-note speech on Jan. 13 at a seminar on renewable energy and energy efficiency and on Jan. 14 at the INTSOK seminar Gas Value Chain. The seminar attracted many participants from both countries and identified several interesting areas of cooperation.

Ms. Stubholt also met with the three Chinese oil companies: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the Sinopec Group, China National Offshore Petroleum Corporation (CNOOC). She also met with China Oilfield Services limited (COSL), which recently made a substantial investment in the Norwegian oil services industry through the acquisition of Awilco.

The new Memorandum of Understanding is a valuable addition to the previous Framework Agreement on Cooperation and Dialogue on Climate Change between Norway and China as well as the previous Memorandum of Understanding on Enhancing Cooperation in Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy between the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China.