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Norwegian Oil Official Shies from Cooperation with OPEC

February 6, 1986

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ The Norwegian state oil company Statoil should refrain from OPEC limitations on oil production, Statoil Managing Director Arve Johnson said Thursday, according to a published report.

Johnsen said Norway - not a member of OPEC but a major North Sea producer - should maintain its own moderate oil production level, based on its own long-range planning.

The Oslo newspaper Aftenposten said Johnsen had replied with a flat ″no″ when asked whether Norway should start cooperating with the Organzation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce production and thereby try to bolster prices on the international oil market.

″Johnsen’s view is in line with the Norwegian government’s rejection of OPEC’s demand that non-OPEC countries reduce production in order to contribute to market balance between offers and demand and to stable prices,″ the newspaper said.

″Oil prices may remain low for a while, but sooner or later they will be up again,″ Johnsen was quoted as saying. ″It is therefore important to act on the long view. It may take 10 years from start of exploration to start of production from a new oil find.″

″Norway must not be frightened by the fall in oil prices into reducing exploration or from developing new oil fields on the continental shelf,″ he said.

However, Johnsen was reported to have said he had no objection to the Norwegian government’s continued contact with OPEC for exchange of views and information.

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