* Norway's deputy oil minister meets CNOOC vice-president
* CNOOC is the biggest oil and gas producer in China
* Norway PM visiting China April 7-10, first in decade
By Nerijus Adomaitis
OSLO, April 6 Norway and China are looking to
increase cooperation on energy, a senior Norwegian official told
Reuters, in another sign of thawing relations between Oslo and
Beijing following a seven-year row over the Nobel Peace Prize.
Norway's deputy oil and energy minister Ingvil Smines
Tybring-Gjedde said China wanted to learn from Norway's
expertise in reducing costs and pollution. She was speaking
after a meeting with China's biggest offshore oil producer,
CNOOC, in Beijing on Thursday.
"CNOOC was interested in how Norway have reduced costs and
our experiences in clean and environmentally friendly technology
... (they) would like to learn more from Norway and the
Norwegian industry," Tybring-Gjedde told Reuters after talks
with Lv Bo, CNOOC vice president and chairman of the group's two
The meeting came ahead of Norwegian Prime Minister Erna
Solberg's four-day visit to China on Friday, the first since the
two countries resumed full diplomatic relations in December.
Solberg is due to meet President Xi Jinping on Monday, and
other top Chinese officials.
Relations between the two countries broke down in 2010 when
the Nobel Peace Prize, which is decided by a Norwegian
committee, was awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. He
remains in prison.
Despite the rift, Norwegian state oil firm Statoil
has still been able to collaborate with CNOOC and Chinese peer
Sinochem in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil, respectively.
CNOOC, which operates the 180,000 barrels per day Buzzard
field offshore Britain via its subsidiary Nexen, has previously
said it would be interested in investing in Norway.
Norway is seeking to attract new players as interest from
oil majors has dwindled as oil production has halved since
peaking at the turn of the century.
"We had an open dialogue and agreed to cooperate more
closely," Tybring-Gjedde said.
Statoil sells about 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day to
Chinese refineries, in addition to LPG and other products.
Its CEO Eldar Saetre will be among Norwegian business
executives travelling to China with Solberg.
A spokesman for Statoil declined to comment on the meetings.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)