A new partnership agreement between the United Kingdom and Norway will strengthen the energy connection between the two countries, British Prime Minster David Cameron said Wednesday.
This will mean more collaboration on affordable long-term gas supply, more reciprocal investment in oil and gas and renewables and -- underpinning all of this -- a set of major new business deals creating thousands of new jobs and adding billions to our economies, he said, according to the Guardian.
Cameron arrived in Oslo on Wednesday ahead of two days of talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The two leaders, along with 10 energy company executives, are expected to sign the pact on Thursday.
This is the first visit by a British prime minister to Norway in 26 years.
Norway is a major global energy supplier; it consumes only about one-seventh of all the energy it produces and exports the rest. It makes efficient use of hydroelectric technology to keep its own oil and gas dependency low, reports the BBC.
The two countries already enjoy a strong relationship; Reuters reported that Norway is Europe's-second largest gas supplier behind only Russia, and already supplies more than one-third of Britain's gas imports through two subsea pipelines. Oslo also ships liquefied natural gas to the UK. In return, said Cameron, Britain has invested more than £13 billion in Norwegian oil and gas ventures over the past five years.
Cameron said he hopes Thursday's deal would strengthen those ties, and create another 1,500 new jobs or more in the UK.
But as well as being about jobs, it's about secure supplies of energy and also making sure our energy supplies are long-term affordable, he added.
To ease the transfer of gas between Norway and the UK, a new 560-mile cable will be installed in the North Sea to connect the two countries.
The accord also addresses renewable energy. It will encourage the development of new technologies, and an advisory group will facilitate communication between renewable energy companies in the two countries.
The agreement comes at a time when energy is an issue of increasing global concern. Geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East has made oil exports from that region unreliable, while storage capacity worries and climatological effects have brought a new urgency to the development of renewable energy technologies.
The new agreement helps to allay some of those concerns, said Cameron. Affordable, secure energy from trusted and reliable partners is critical to this and there is no stronger energy partnership than between Britain and Norway, he said.