U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and John McCain were in Norway on Mon. April 14 as part of a small Republican “codel” to Europe. While in Norway, the two senators met with high ranking Norwegian energy officials and senior executives of Statoil.
According to a news release issued by Hoeven, the pair met with Kåre Fostervold, Norwegian State Secretary for Petroleum and Energy, and Statoil’s Senior Vice President of Natural Gas Marketing and Supply Grete, Birgitte Haaland, and Chief Economist, Eirik Wærness.
In the news release, Hoeven said: “Norway is working to reduce European dependence on Russian natural gas… [and] Statoil and other Norwegian companies are also going beyond Norway to invest in production globally. They are a key part of plans to bring gas to Europe from the Caspian Sea west through Turkey and also through the Adriatic Sea. Statoil is also a major investor in North Dakota, developing gas resources that could be made available on a global gas market if the federal government approves more permits to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). “Norway cannot solve the problem of European energy dependence on Russia all on its own,” Hoeven said. “The only real, long-term solution is to make additional LNG supplies available, and this means the United States has a strong role to play as a world leader.”
Following their visit to Norway, the codel traveled to Latvia and Estonia (April 15) and Lithuania (April 16) and then on to Moldova (April 17). Sens. John Barrosso (R-WY) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) accompanied Hoeven and McCain on the latter stages of the trip.
At an event held at Vilnius University in Lithuania, McCain said: “We and Lithuania’s leaders agree that European countries need to increase their efforts to diversify their supply of energy, as Lithuania is taking the lead in doing… [and] United States can be an important part of that solution in Lithuania and Europe.”