US embassy cable - 06OSLO189

PETROLEUM MINISTER SEEKS CLOSER BILATERAL COOPERATION ON HIGH NORTH, OTHER ENERGY ISSUES

Identifier: 06OSLO189
Wikileaks: View 06OSLO189 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Oslo
Created: 2006-02-21 07:38:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: ENRG EPET PREL PGOV NO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS OSLO 000189 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB DALLAND; EB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY, 
RGARVERICK, FDOWDY; NEA/I MAMITRANO 
DOE FOR U/S GARMAN, PI FOR DPUMPHREY, ZHADDAD, FE FOR 
EROSSI, JSLUTZ, GDEHORATIIS, JSWIFT; LEKIMOFF 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ENRG, EPET, PREL, PGOV, NO 
SUBJECT: PETROLEUM MINISTER SEEKS CLOSER BILATERAL 
COOPERATION ON HIGH NORTH, OTHER ENERGY ISSUES 
 
REF:  A) 2005 OSLO 1796  B) 12/14/05 AMITRANO-APOSTOL 
E-MAIL  C) 2/15/06 GALLOGLY-APOSTOL E-MAIL 
 
1.  (U) This is an action request.  Please see 
paragraph 4. 
 
Petroleum Ministry Wants Closer Bilateral Dialogue 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
2. (SBU) In the Ambassador's February 15 introductory 
call on Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Odd 
Roger Enoksen, Enoksen emphasized the importance Norway 
placed on closer bilateral cooperation on energy 
issues.  Enoksen said he hoped to visit the United 
States at the earliest opportunity, perhaps for a 
United Nations' sustainable development conference in 
May.  He added that the Ministry was seeking to 
organize meetings with U.S. energy officials in Oslo to 
strengthen our bilateral energy dialogue.  Priority 
areas would include High North energy, energy security, 
Norwegian LNG sales to the United States and Europe, 
assistance to developing nations (including Iraq) to 
improve petroleum sector management, and joint research 
and development in new technologies (e.g. hydrogen 
energy and carbon dioxide capture).  The Ambassador 
agreed that strengthening bilateral energy ties was a 
top priority and offered to assist in arranging 
meetings between Enoksen and Ministry officials and 
U.S. counterparts. 
 
Next Steps for High North Energy Development 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
3.  (SBU) Touching on High North energy, Enoksen 
assured the Ambassador that the government's "Total 
Management Plan" for the Barents would be published, as 
scheduled, at the end of March.  The document will 
include the government's comprehensive plans for 
exploiting Barents Sea energy resources and provide a 
basis for awarding Barents acreage to bidders in the 
19th petroleum licensing round.  Enoksen thought that, 
given the lead times in gathering and evaluating 
technical seismic data, exploratory drilling in awarded 
acreage should commence by 2008 or 2009.  Enoksen 
pointed out that although only two of more than 60 
wells drilled in the Norwegian Barents had resulted in 
commercial finds, the relatively unexplored area was 
twice the size of the North Sea production zone, where 
more than 1,000 wells had been drilled.  Enoksen 
stressed that the Barents region, with significant 
resources on both the Norwegian and Russian sides of 
the border, could become a major energy supplier to the 
United States, beginning when the Statoil's Snoehvit 
natural gas project comes on line next year. 
 
4.  (SBU) ACTION REQUEST.  Post fully supports the 
Petroleum Minister's call for closer bilateral energy 
cooperation and understands that Washington agencies 
are agreeable to holding energy talks in Oslo this year 
(refs).  Post requests further guidance on possible 
timing and priority agenda items for such talks. 
 
WHITNEY 
 
UNCLASSIFIED 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
NNNN 

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