* Meeting to take place on Thursday
* Norway PM visiting China on April 7-10, first in decade
* Full diplomatic relations restored after Nobel Peace Prize
(Adds details, background)
By Nerijus Adomaitis
OSLO, April 5 Norway's deputy oil minister will
meet top executives of China's biggest offshore oil producer
CNOOC on Thursday to discuss possible cooperation
ahead of the first visit by a Norwegian prime minister to China
in a decade, officials said.
CNOOC, which operates the 140,000 barrels per day Buzzard
field offshore Britain via its subsidiary Nexen, said in 2010 it
would be interested to come to Norway.
The row over the Nobel Peace Prize award to Chinese
dissident Liu Xiaobo, chosen by a Norwegian committee that same
year, froze relations between the two countries.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will be in Beijing on
April 7-10 to meet President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li
Keqiang and other Chinese officials, in the first visit by a
Norwegian premier since the countries resumed full diplomatic
relations in December.
Norway's Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde will meet the number
two executive at CNOOC on April 6, the oil ministry and business
lobby group Norwegian Energy Partners told Reuters.
"We have had a very good relationship with Chinese oil
companies, and we want to get back to the situation before the
Nobel peace prize and all the problems with China," said Haakon
Skretting from Norwegian Energy Partners.
Solberg will take executives from several top Norwegian
companies, including oil firm Statoil, to China.
Statoil, which has had an office in Beijing since 1982, said
China was a key market, with sales to its refineries at roughly
100,000 barrels per day, in addition to LPG and other products.
Companies such as Kuwait's Kufpec and Russia's Gazprom
have also recently shown an interest in Norwegian oil
assets and technology.
"Norway provides opportunities to gain know-how and learn
about new technologies in order to bring them back home later,"
Daniel Rennemo, head of PricewaterhouseCoopers's Norway oil and
gas transactions team, told Reuters.
"It remains attractive due to it resource potential, highly
qualified workforce, stable geopolitics and attractive tax
regime, while companies like Statoil have also managed to cut
(Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Terje Solsvik, editing by David