Russian - Norwegian cooperation in the Barents Sea - a strategic and operational challenge

Authors: Johan Petter Barlindhaug (North Energy ASA, Norway, Tromsø)

Key words: regional development, Russian interests, Norwegian experience, common interests in the High North creates at potential for cooperation.

Following the delimitation agreement in the Barents Sea new perspectives are outlined for the cooperation in the High North. National Interests and Regional Development are mutual objectives in both countries. However, the strategies and legal framework in obtaining the goals are significantly different. Russia puts priority on state control and strong monopolies, while the Norwegian way is “diversity and multiplicity”. To bridge the activity gap on short term it is an important step that Rosneft and LUKOIL are applying for licenses on the Norwegian shelf. However, more substantial activity is needed and should be followed up with closer cross border cooperation on company level and in developing basic infrastructure.

Key words: regional development, Russian interests, Norwegian experience, common interests in the High North creates at potential for cooperation.

Following the delimitation agreement in the Barents Sea new perspectives are outlined for the cooperation in the High North. National Interests and Regional Development are mutual objectives in both countries. However, the strategies and legal framework in obtaining the goals are significantly different. Russia puts priority on state control and strong monopolies, while the Norwegian way is “diversity and multiplicity”. To bridge the activity gap on short term it is an important step that Rosneft and LUKOIL are applying for licenses on the Norwegian shelf. However, more substantial activity is needed and should be followed up with closer cross border cooperation on company level and in developing basic infrastructure.


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