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Norway defends energy sector position

Aug. 29, 2012 at 8:51 AM

STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Norway will continue to play a major role as a stable provider of oil and natural gas for international markets, the country's oil minister said.

International delegates gathered in Stavanger, Norway, for the biannual Offshore Northern Seas conference.

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe said significant amounts of oil and natural gas needed to come on stream every year to keep up with growing international demand.

Oil and natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf, he said, has a legacy of meeting global energy needs.

"Norway is, and will continue to be, a long-term, stable provider of oil and gas," he said.

A July labor strike by offshore workers in Norway halted about 15 percent of the oil production on the country's continental shelf. The International Energy Agency said July oil production from Norway was as its lowest level since 1991.

A mid-August report from Oslo stated that drilling costs on the Norwegian continental shelf are 40 percent higher than for the United Kingdom.

"The petroleum industry needs to have a continuous focus on the cost level," the minister said. "A high cost level has a direct effect on the value creation, on our sound resource management."

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