Norway Oil Ministry Seeks Talks With Russia

Norway's Oil and Energy Minister Einar Steensnaes said on Tuesday that he was seeking talks with Moscow about ways to bolster sagging oil markets and expressed hopes that Russia would announce big cuts for 2002. Einar Steensnaes also said that none of Norway's NATO partners had criticized Oslo for announcing plans last week to curb output by 100,000-200,000 barrels per day in a move that could push up prices and put more pressure on the US economy after the September 11 attacks. He sent a letter to his Russian counterpart last week in which he "asked if possible to meet my Russian colleague, via, for example, a telephone conference." He said he had not yet received a reply. Steensnaes also said that he believed it was unrealistic to think that OPEC and non-OPEC producers like Norway could raise prices back to an OPEC target price of $22-28 a barrel in the short term, the Russia Journal reported.

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