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Cablegate: Norwegian Technical Assistance in Oil Sector

VZCZCXYZ0018
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUJA #1555/01 2011229
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201229Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0313
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 7442
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0034
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS ABUJA 001555

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

TREASURY FOR DPETERS
USDOC FOR USDOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS
USDOC FOR 3130/USFC/OIO/ANESA/DHARRIS
ENERGY FOR CAROLYN GAY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET EAID PHUM EITI NI
SUBJECT: NORWEGIAN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN OIL SECTOR

1. (SBU) Summary: Norway has an MOU with the Nigerian
Government to provide technical assistance in the oil
sector to make available Norway's experience and
expertise as an oil producing nation in managing the
resource for national benefit. The framework includes
public/private institutional cooperation. The program
is overseen by a Counselor for Petroleum Cooperation who
splits his time between Nigeria and Angola. The key
areas of cooperation in the Public Sector are policy and
resource Management, Petroleum Activity monitoring, metering, Data
management, Environmental and Safety
Issues, Deepwater Technology, Training. The Private
sector program includes enhancing local content and technology
seminars. In addition, Norway is active in supporting the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Voluntary Principles
Task for
and The Gulf of Guinea Energy Security Strategy (GGESS). Norway sees
the EITI as key to making progress, but
finds its efforts are resisted by GON Petroleum
officials and governors, but supported by the Finance Ministry and
EFCC. End Summary.

2. (U) On June 28, the Norwegian Ambassador briefed
the Ambassador on the Norwegian government's oil
sector assistance in Nigeria. Since 2000 Norway has
had an MOU with the Nigerian Government to provide technical
assistance in the oil sector. The Norwegian government assistance is
mainly provided through the Nigerian Department of Petroleum
Resources (DPR),
based in Lagos. The key goal of the technical assistance
is to make available Norway's experience and expertise
as an oil producing nation in managing petroleum
resources for national benefit. The program is overseen
by a Counselor for Petroleum Cooperation who splits his time between
Nigeria and Angola. The key areas of cooperation in the Public
Sector are policy and resource Management, Petroleum Activity
monitoring, metering,
Data management, Environmental and Safety Issues,
Deepwater Technology, Training. Norway wants to expand
the effort to include working with the Ministry of
Finance and other bodies on petroleum revenue management issues.
They also are increasing there activity on environmental protection
have an MOU with the Ministry
of Environment.

3. (U) The framework also includes public/private institutional
cooperation, which on the Nigerian side involves INTSOK a private
consortium that includes the Norwegian government, Statoil and
Hydro, and major oil services companies. The focus of this program
in
Nigeria is enhancing local content in the upstream
oil and gas industry. The second major activity is providing
technical seminars in areas where Norwegian companies have
significant expertise.

4. (SBU) The National Planning Commission has been
trying to persuade Norway to get involved in development issues in
the Niger Delta. While Norway is doing some things there via UNDP,
Norway shares the concerns of
other donors that governance issues make real assistance
in the region hard manage effectively. Nonetheless Norway is very
interested in increasing its development work and is preparing a new
program called Oil for Development to focus more tightly on how to
use oil resources to promote broader improvements in the welfare of
the populations. Norway sees participation in the EITI as key for
countries that want to be part of this new program. Norway also is
active multilateral efforts of the Voluntary Principles Task for and
the Gulf of Guinea Energy Security Strategy (GGESS).

NEITI
-----

5. (SBU) Norway is active in supporting the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI), and the
Nigerian program (NEITI) specifically. NEITI has
requested assistance in several areas from Norway.
One proposal was to look at metering at wellheads, but
the project is not going anywhere because Nigerian Petroleum
officials say that that is not feasible.
NEITI has asked for assistance to the Federal Internal Revenue
Service (FIRS) and the Accountant General to
set up processes to better account for and track
petroleum taxes. NEITI would like to make the process
for oil block licensing more transparent and has also
asked Norway to provide salary support for NEITI staff.

6. (SBU) The Norwegians report that the DPR is not supportive of the
NEITI proposals and that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
and the Delta Governors
tend to be obstructive. The EFCC has been one the NEITI's allies on
these proposals. For the moment it is not
clear who is in charge of the NEITI. Former Education Minister Obi
Ezewiskili left for the World Bank, and
no new head has been named. Special Advisor to the
Minister of Finance Bright Okugu had been in charge of
day to day work, but he too has left and not been
replaced. The current acting official is Stan Werri.
The Norwegians believe that President Yar'adua will
need to support NEITI if he is going to affect political change and
get control of key levers of Nigerian power politics.
GRIBBIN

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