Gas deal with Dutch

November 12, 1998, 00:00 CET

Legal action against Dutch power company SEP has been dropped by the Troll group after a deal was struck by the two sides.

While the Norwegian gas seller has dropped its request for a court injunction, SEP has undertaken to provide it with regular briefings about moves to liberalise the electricity sector in the Netherlands.

This agreement follows talks between the two sides over the past fortnight, since the Troll group initiated legal action on 23 October. This included an application to the court in the Dutch city of Arnhem for an injunction to halt any further demerger of SEP assets.

The latter has been a key player in the Dutch energy supply sector, responsible for purchasing power station fuel and monopoly importer and exporter of electricity.

Under a contract with the Troll group, which includes Statoil, SEP is committed to buy two billion cubic metres of Norwegian gas annually from 1996-2015.

The market is now changing in the wake of the European Union's electricity directive and new national legislation for this sector. The directive aims to open the EU power market to free competition.

Since this restructuring of the electricity sector began, the Troll group has been concerned to ensure that gas buyers remain in a position to fulfil their contractual obligations.

Information received by the group in recent weeks encourage it to believe that SEP's obligations will be met for the duration of the contract, says marketing vice president Bjørn R Jacobsen in Natural Gas Marketing & Supply.

The Troll group remains free to take legal action to protect its interests, he adds.