New chapter in the energy cooperation between the UK and Norway

Source: press release, 28 June 2021

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru (photo: OED/NTB Scanpix)

Norwegian minister for petroleum and energy, Tina Bru and the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, met in Oslo on Monday 28 June, for talks on energy issues.

“Energy is a key word in the cooperation between UK and Norway. Now we are entering a new and exciting phase, as demonstrated clearly by Secretary Kwarteng’s visit. We have discussed a number of topics of common interest, such as the Norwegian gas export to the UK, carbon capture and storage, as well as hydrogen,” says Minister Tina Bru.

During their meeting in Oslo, Bru and Kwarteng also discussed the interconnector North Sea Link, which will be put in operation in the autumn, and the coming agreement between Norway and the UK on power trade and interconnectors.

“We are close to finalising the agreement on power exchange. The agreement will contribute to predicable framework conditions for the exchange of power between our two countries. In addition, we agree to cooperate on development of offshore wind power and related infrastructure in the North Sea,” Bru adds.

“The United Kingdom has a strong bond with Norway going back many decades. My visit has been a great opportunity to reaffirm and grow our lasting relationship as we work together to connect our two electricity grids for the first time and finalise this historic North Sea agreement. This important milestone will harness the extraordinary expertise both our nations hold within this new era of renewable energy, all while helping us to build back better from the pandemic,” says Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Joint Statement issued in connection with the meeting in Oslo:

Energy is at the core of the close relationship between the United Kingdom and Norway. We are now embarking on a fresh, exciting chapter, establishing a new phase of cross-border energy cooperation.

We are celebrating the completion this month of the construction of the North Sea Link interconnector, which joins together our nations’ world-class electricity grids for the first time. Trading over the interconnector is scheduled to start later this year.

We are also announcing that the UK and Norway are close to concluding a historic bilateral treaty on electricity interconnection, which will set out our shared principles for maximising the mutual benefits of efficient electricity trading. The treaty will also set out commitments to co-operate on electricity infrastructure between our countries, including further interconnection, and infrastructure which combines cross-border transmission with offshore wind in the North Sea, where we have significant mutual interests.

This is an important milestone for both our countries and an achievement that will spur on the North Sea’s pioneering progress in reducing carbon emissions, all while helping us to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s commitment builds on what is already a transformative partnership between our two countries, making use of the extraordinary expertise we hold within the clean energy revolution to help fight climate change and create new business opportunities.

This includes the development of carbon capture and storage – underpinned by our bilateral MoU signed in November 2018 – the development of hydrogen technologies, and the opening up of our seas to unleash what is a ground-breaking new era of offshore wind power.

We have had extensive cooperation in the oil and gas sector. The UK is a key market for Norwegian gas exports. Norway provides around one-third of UK gas supply, which has played an important role in UK energy decarbonisation as the UK transitions away from coal.

Looking forward, we are committed to working together on further innovative opportunities to support our economies transition to clean, green energy as part of delivering our commitments under the Paris Agreement.