Statoil-Hydro merger demands tougher pollution controls

Jan 13, 2007 01:00 AM

Oil company Statoil’s pending takeover of Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas operations means the state needs to beef up its pollution monitoring agency SFT. So claims Lars Haltbrekken, leader of the Norwegian chapter of Friends of the Earth (Naturvernforbundet).
"SFT has a lot of power, but not enough in relation to what it will have to tackle," Haltbrekken told. "Hydro and Statoil are teaming up to be stronger. That means SFT needs to be stronger, too."

Analysts believe the merger itself seems likely to succeed. They also think the merger can give a boost to smaller oil companies looking for talented new workers.
That's because many Hydro employees may entertain new offers instead of moving over to Statoil and having to jockey for position.

Statoil's shares, meanwhile, were hit hard by falling oil prices and concerns that Venezuela may try to nationalize foreign oil interests in the country. Statoil has a 15 % stake in the Sincor oil project in Venezuela.
Venezuelan officials later downplayed remarks made by President Hugo Chavez, stressing that the Venezuelan government was only seeking to be majority owner in projects involving non-Venezuelan interests.

Source: Aftenposten English Web Desk
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