Russia invites Norway to talk on energy cooperation at G8 summit

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ST. PETERSBURG, February 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has invited Norway to have its say on oil and gas cooperation at a summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations in July, the Norwegian foreign minister said Thursday.

Jonas Gahr Stoere told the mayor of St. Petersburg, which will host the summit, that Russia and Norway were both responsible for opening up a new chapter in the energy history of Europe.

The world's number two oil exporter cooperates with Norway, the world's number 3, in developing oil and natural gas in the Arctic, which, according to some U.S. estimates, could hold a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered petroleum reserves.

Norwegian energy groups Statoil and Norsk Hydro are on a shortlist of five Western companies - alongside the U.S. giants Chevron and ConocoPhillips and France's Total - to join Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom in developing the vast Shtokman gas field off the Arctic coast.

Russia, currently holding the G8 presidency, has made cooperation in the energy sector a priority of its agenda.

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