Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg

The start of Statoil’s $20 billion Johan Sverdrup oil field will not be delayed by the ongoing political dispute over its source of power, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Wednesday.

Opposition parties, who hold a majority in parliament, recently agreed to ask all new fields in the Utsira High area of the North Sea to buy electric power from the shore when they start producing.

Power is currently generated on the rigs with natural gas or diesel.

Using inland electricity would be more environmentally friendly, but Statoil said it could push up costs and delay projects.

On Wednesday the Labour Party, the largest party in parliament, hinted it may soften its position and find common ground with Solberg’s minority government.

“I expect Johan Sverdrup not to be delayed by political decisions,” Solberg told Reuters in an interview.


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