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The UK-Norway North Sea Cooperation Working Group’s recently publish ...

The UK-Norway North Sea Cooperation Working Group’s recently published study entitled Unlocking Value through Closer Relationships has called for closer cooperation between the two countries on the development of remaining oil and gas resources across the North Sea. The report outlines 14 recommendations for improving cooperation between Norway and the UK on all aspects of the oil and gas industry, which could ultimately be worth as much as $2bn through savings on capital, operating and decommissioning costs and speeding up new development. Many of the recommendations will facilitate export of gas for Norwegian producers and help the UK Government in its aims to secure the UK a diverse energy supply. A key recommendation is the drawing up of a new ‘Framework Treaty’ between the two countries to help unlock new opportunities for cross-border working, together with the creation of guidelines that will underpin both the new and existing treaties. The study also recommends focused discussions between oil and gas producers, the UK Department of Trade and Industry, Ofgem and Transco on the investment required to ensure sufficient capacity in the UK National Transmission System (NTS), particularly at St Fergus, to meet future demand for gas. Other recommendations seek closer cooperation in areas such as the harmonisation of gas sales specifications and a common code of practice for access to cross-border infrastructure. An implementation team is to be formed to carry forward the report recommendations. Regular updates will be posted on the Pilot website (www.pilottaskforce.co.uk) and the Norwegian Ministry for Petroleum and Energy website (www.dep.no/oed).

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