Photo: Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor and Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Kåre R. Aas signed the agreement during a ceremony in Washington, DC. Photos: Faith Vander Voor

U.S. and Norway enter offshore energy partnership

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) for continued cooperation in the areas of offshore oil and gas, offshore wind energy, and seabed minerals.

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor and Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S. Kåre R. Aas signed the MOU during a ceremony in Washington, DC.

Activities outlined in the MOU framework include the exchange of scientific and technical information and cooperation regarding research and technological development.

The DOI and MPE will remain in regular contact and foster discussion of experiences, best practices, policy, and regulatory initiatives relevant to the development of offshore resources.

It is worth noting that the U.S. and Norway are two of the world’s largest offshore energy producers and have decades of experience to draw upon in expanding discussions on oil and gas best practices.

Both countries are interested in discussing strategies for identifying and inventorying new supplies of marine mineral resources of commercial or economic interest. Discussing offshore wind is also a priority, particularly as it pertains to floating wind technology.

Since 2017, the U.S. DOI has conducted two offshore wind leases sales totalling approximately $414 million in bonus bids, seven offshore oil and gas leases totalling approximately $1 billion, and executed seven offshore mineral agreements.

Tony C. Tiller, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, said: “The MOU signed today will further strengthen the long-standing energy partnership between our two countries.

I’m convinced that sharing of best practices and experience will be mutually beneficial, and contribute to sustainable resource management”.

Katharine MacGregor added: “The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring our nation is in a position of strength when it comes to domestic energy production, to provide jobs, power our economy, and provide affordable energy for American families and businesses.

We appreciate this opportunity to highlight our strong relationship with Norway and our continuing investment in safe and responsible offshore energy development”.