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British and Norwegian Oil Ministers Meet Next Week

September 3, 1986

LONDON (AP) _ British Energy Secretary Peter Walker and Norwegian Oil Minister Arne Oeien plan to meet next week in London to discuss the oil situation, according to British and Norwegian officials.

The two ministers will meet informally with no fixed agenda but Walker is expected to probe Norway’s emerging oil policy, said Norwegian Embassy spokesman Jan Flatla on Wednesday.

Britain and Norway are both North Sea oil producers, and their governments are taking different attitudes to the pressures developing from the fall in oil prices - now about $16 a 42-gallon barrel compared with $28 at the beginning of the year.

Norway has said it will talk with oil companies about the possibility of reducing production, though the Norwegian government has not said it will press the companies to cut production.

The British government, despite calls from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce oil output to raise prices, has repeatedly said it would not interfe with the oil companies’ decisions about oil production.

A Department of Energy spokesman, confirming the Walker-Oeien meeting for next Wednesday, said Britain’s policy on North Sea oil production remains unchanged. The spokesman, following civil service practice, spoke on condition of anonymity.

The British and Norwegian prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher and Gro Harlem Bruntland, will also have an opportunity to discuss oil matters next week when Mrs. Thatcher is to visit Norway. Her schedule has not been officially announced yet, but she is expected to be in Norway next Wednesday and Thursday.

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