Norway is looking outside the North Sea for oil and gas exploration opportunities. The Honorable Brit Skjelbred, deputy minister of Norway's department of petroleum and energy, told participants at the Canadian Offshore Resources Exhibition in Halifax that Norway is looking north to the Norwegian and Barents seas for domestic opportunities. Norway is also looking to Atlantic Canada for "exciting opportunities in oil and gas exploration," Skjelbred said.
Skjelbred encouraged Canada to look outside its own borders for skills and technology that are lacking in the region. Using Norway as an example, Skjelbred said, "globalization demands division of labor." Growth cannot be reached in isolation, she said.
Skjelbred pointed out that in the time span of a generation, Norway has transformed its economy. She encouraged Atlantic Canada to seize the opportunity to do the same.
Skjelbred also noted some of the stumbling blocks that stand in the way of progress. One critical concern in Atlantic Canada is that of local content, which translates into financial benefit to the province from oil and gas exploration. "Local content is important," Skjelbred said, but she cautioned that concern for local content should not become an impediment to potential investors.
Skjelbred noted opportunities in oil and gas exploration off Eastern Canada as an enticement to investors. Atlantic Canada is an excellent place for Norway to seek partners for development, she said.