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UK partnership with Norway set to boost energy supplies and jobs

THE Prime Minister David Cameron and Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg yesterday agreed a landmark energy partnership with the potential to create thousands of new jobs.

UK and Norwegian companies have announced billions of pounds of new investment, electricity interconnection and international climate change police developments to secure affordable and sustainable long term energy supplies.

The Norway-UK Energy Partnership for Sustainable Growth heralds closer collaboration between the two countries across a wide range of energy activities, including safe and environmentally sensitive oil and gas extraction, long term gas supply, renewable energy investment, electricity interconnection and international climate change policy development.

Both the UK and Norwegian companies have announced billions of pounds of new investment, with the potential to create thousands of new jobs.

Commenting at a breakfast meeting attended by ten leading energy companies from the two countries, combined annual revenues of more than £400 billion, PM David Cameron said: “The jobs and investments announced today highlight how vital the strong relationship between Norway and the UK is for our energy security and economic growth.

We look forward to strengthening our partnership further, driving investment into a diverse, sustainable energy mix that delivers affordable long term supplies for consumers."

Commercial announcements include:

  • Norwegian global oil services firm Aker Solutions will create 1,300 new highly skilled jobs by 2015 at its engineering hub in Chiswick. This comes on top of 1,000 new jobs it has already created in the UK over the past two years
  • Statoil intends to invest a further £12 billion over the lifetime of the UK’s Mariner-Bressay North Sea oil fields in addition to the £6 billion they have already announced. This will lead to the creation of up to 300 new jobs in the UK in the next few years, including at a new operations base in Aberdeen, in addition to 700 UK jobs from this investment that have already been announced.
  • A new Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between Statoli and Centrica to continue cooperation on gas supply and exploration. This builds on the £13 billion, ten year gas supply deal agreed between the two companies last November and follows the recent completion of £1billion asset deal between the two companies that will increase Centrica’s oil and gas reserves by 29%.
  • The Forewind Consortium, which includes Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft, has confirmed its intention to develop the 9GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project off the East coast of Yorkshire, which could require up to £30 billion of investment. This project could provide more than 10% of the UK's electricity needs. In addition to this project Statoil and Statkraft are investing around £1billion in developing the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, which is already generating power and will be completed later this year. It will provide power to more than 200,000 UK homes when fully operational. The project employs 500 workers in the field and provides significant secondary employment;
  • Good progress is being made in two projects to build one of the world's longest subsea electricity interconnectors between the UK and Norway, which will enable the UK and Norway to share renewable energy resources, with each project worth over £1 billion: NSN (National Grid and Statnett) and NorthConnect (SSE, Vattenfall, Agder Energei, E-CO and Lyse);
  • A deal between Shell and Gassco to strengthen UK energy security by providing British customers with more gas from Norway. By making better use of spare capacity in the UK gas transport system, Norwegian gas owners and transporters, including Shell, will be able to transport more gas from Norwegian fields via the Tampen Link to the FLAGS pipeline into St Fergus.

Chris Hendry, UK Minister State for Energy, added:

“For many decades Norway has been one of our most trusted valuable partners, working with us to develop North Sea resources that underpin our energy security.

“The investments and jobs announced today by British and Norwegian companies are a clear signal of the benefits of this partnership.”

Norway is a key supplier of oil and gas to the UK. Norway provides over a quarter of the UK’s primary energy demands, supplying 42% of our imported gas and around 62% of our imported oil in 2011.

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About Charlie Kennedy

Having studied Law, English and Philosophy, I went travelling to India for 6 weeks working in orphanages and in a leper colony. I came home and decided to study Journalism. Starting my third and final year this September, I have just been given the fanta... read more