Norway backs the European Union trade sanctions against Russia.
The Norwegian supply industry is therefore not allowed to export high technology to Russia for oil operations in deep water or in Arctic areas.
This became clear after a meeting of the extended foreign affairs committee last Monday.
Room for discretion
– The Government will support the EU’s new restrictive measures against Russia. Norway has, since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, stood together with the EU and neighboring countries in our reactions to Russia’s violation of international law. We will do the same this time, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in a press release.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry has held a number of meetings with Norwegian industry concerning the sanctions.
– Feedback from the business community is important for the further dialogue with the EU on clarifications of the details of the sanctions, says Brende.
Separate telephone line
The Foreign Ministry plans to open a service telephone line where the Norwegian business community can acquire information about the new measures as of Wednesday this week.
– This is a follow-up to the meeting we had with the Foreign Ministry a few days ago. We have to expect some ambiguity in the regulations for some time, says Knut E. Sande, head of the Sectors and Industrial Policy Department of The Federation of Norwegian Industries.
The sanctions affect, amongst other things, the rent of drilling rigs and ships for oil industry in the Arctic areas of Russia.
Exception for gas
– The sanctions have consequences for the Norwegian supply industry because Norwegian companies are well positioned for the market in Russia. It affects businesses in varying degrees and may affect over time, says Knut E. Sunde to Teknisk Ukeblad.
The pure gas fields are exempt from the very specific sanctions, which helps to mitigate the consequences, according to Sunde.
– We understand that engineering is not affected either, which means that a lot of the business between Norwegian supply industry and Russian interests will continue, he says.
Last week, Norwegian Industries met with the State Department to give an analysis of how the sanctions could affect Norwegian suppliers.
– Amongst other things, we discussed how to relate to concepts like Arctic areas, and deep sea. The answer is not simple, he says.
Norwegian industry is concerned that the Norwegian practice of the sanctions against Russia should be like the EU, because most of the competition is in the EU.
The Foreign Ministry writes that a prior permission would be required from Norwegian authorities for the export of certain product categories to the Russian petroleum sector.
– If the supplies are to be used for deep sea oil exploration and production, Arctic oil search and production or shale oil projects in Russia, there is an export ban, says Foreign Ministry.
They specify that the ban only concerns new contracts. It also requires prior authorization for funding and services in relation to commodity categories.