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Cooperation with conservation society

January 13, 2006, 10:00 CET

A three-year collaboration agreement running until 2008 has been concluded by Statoil with the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature.

Both sides want to cooperate to avoid harm to the environment and minimise environmental burdens relating to all petroleum activities.

The deal also aims at a mutual exchange of knowledge in order to achieve better joint understanding of environmental challenges, particularly marine biology issues.

Expertise will be shared on present and future environmental conditions, allowing the earliest possible advantage to be taken of new knowledge. Ideas on possible specific solutions can also be exchanged.

Statoil is to provide the society with NOK 500,000 per annum in financial support. A significant part of this funding will help to run the society’s new marine office in Bergen.

Work at the office will include the discharge issue in relation to seafood, biological diversity in the sea and along the coast, and international conventions.

The two sides take differing views of petroleum operations in the far north but agree that, regardless of such arguments, they need a mutual dialogue on the factual basis for the activity.

“We think it’s very positive that we can cooperate with the society over new knowledge while simultaneously challenging each other on developing forward-looking environmental solutions,” says Tove Rørhuus.

She is vice president for health, safety and the environment in Statoil’s Exploration & Production Norway business area.

Tore Killingland, secretary-general of the conservation society, also welcomes the cooperation agreement with Statoil.

“It’s important for both sides to take an in-depth approach to marine biology issues,” he notes. “We also have a mutual respect for the areas where we agree and disagree.

“Our opposition to petroleum production in the far north and our view that oil is being produced too fast are well known. But that won’t prevent us cooperating where we have shared interests.”

He notes that the society has also collaborated with Statoil before, not least on new knowledge about deepwater corals and the framework for selling low-sulphur automotive fuel in Norway.

The cooperation agreement can also be extended to other issues of common interest to the two sides.