Interview with Odd Enoksen

Odd Enoksen, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Norway spoke to Russia Today about Norway

Russia Today: Could you, please, comment on the border dispute between Norway and Russia?

Odd Enoksen: It is always an advantage to have clear borders and to finalise things like this. This question has been unsolved for many years and of course there can be resources in this disputed area. Resources can be important for both Norway and Russia. So of course it would be an advantage to finalise the negotiations as soon as possible.

RT: Gazprom is yet to pick the foreign companies that would participate in the Shtockman project. What chances do you think Norwegian companies have to be among the chosen ones?

O.E.: It is difficult to say. It is first of all commercial negotiations. I fully respect that Russian authorities make their own decision on how to develop this gas field. And it is up to the commercial negotiations between Gasprom and Statoil Hydro to decide which company will be a part of this project and which is not. But on the other hand, as I have said, Norwegian companies have high technological levels and I am sure they can make an offer to Gazprom which would be good for these companies.

RT: If Norwegian companies are not picked to participate in the Shtokman project, what alternatives do you have and how do you plan to compete with Gazprom?

O.E.: Norway and Russia are the main suppliers of gas to Europe and we will be so for many years. The news Norwegian company Statoil Hydro will also play a role on the international arena and if it is not going to be in Russia it is going to be elsewhere in the world. I mean we are already represented in 40 countries and also have a lot of activity outside Norway. This activity will increase in the years to come.

RT: Russia has faced the increased criticism from Western countries that it is using its energy resourses to blackmail other countries. Do you think this criticism is justified and does Norway plan to enter into any gas or oil alliances with Russia in the future?

O.E.: No, we have no plans to do so. We support Russia when it comes to Russia