Fortum Petroleum AS, a subsidiary of Fortum Group, and 28 other gas producing companies on the Norwegian continental shelf have received a letter of objections from the DG Competition of the EU Commission. The objection concerns the joint sale of Norwegian gas through the Gas Negotiation Committee (GFU). A similar letter was sent to Statoil and Norsk Hydro in mid-June.
In its letter, the Commission states that also the foreign licencees have breached the EU competition rules. So far, no company has been allowed to sell its Norwegian gas directly. Instead, all gas sale has been channeled through the GFU founded by Statoil and Norsk Hydro for this purpose.
The EU Competition authority has been investigating the matter for five years. Fortum’s gas production in Norway started in October 2000 at the Asgard field. The sales value of this gas amounts to roughly 80 million euros by end 2001. Some associated gas has also been produced in connection to Fortum´s Norwegian oil production, which started in 1993.
The companies have been given three months to respond. Fortum’s stance will be based on the fact that the Norwegian regulations have obliged all companies to channel their gas sales through the GFU.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Veli-Matti Ropponen, President, Oil and Gas Sector +358 50 452 4115
Mrs Carola Teir-Lehtinen, Senior V.P., Corp. Communications +358 50 452 4118