Big ambitions in the far north

June 11, 2007, 10:30 CEST

Russian and Norwegian interests meet in the far north and the Arctic. The new StatoilHydro company has big ambitions in this part of the world, chief executive Helge Lund told the St Petersburg Economic Forum this weekend.

The new company is seeking a close and long-term collaboration with the Russian government and companies in Russia, he said.

Heads of state, leading politicians and industrial leaders from many countries met in the Russian city from 8-9 June, with president Vladimir Putin as host.
The Norwegian premier, Jens Stoltenberg, and Mr Lund were among the politicians and industrial leaders who met the Russian leader.

“The aspirations of our two nations in the energy arena meet in far northern areas,” said Mr Lund. “Russia and Norway jointly share unique opportunities to liberate the energy potential in this part of the world.

“We can combine Russia’s onshore Arctic know-how with Norway’s experience from many years of offshore oil and gas operations.”

He believed that the goal had to be to achieve sustainable energy production in the Arctic by 2030.

Mr Lund added that relations between Russia and Norway built on good neighbourliness, many years of shared experience as reliable gas suppliers to Europe, and complementary experience in the oil and gas sector.

Apart from president Putin and senior Russian politicians, Mr Lund met leading representatives of the country’s energy industry and his opposite numbers from several of the world’s large oil companies.

Building a strong strategic and commercial partnership between Russia and Norway was an important goal, he said. With powerful support from its government owner, StatoilHydro would contribute to the success of Russo-Norwegian collaboration.

The St Petersburg economic forum gathers government representatives from many countries and broad participation from international business and industry. It attracted great international media attention this year, and was described as useful and successful.