Norway signed a memorandum of understanding to provide know-how in
The oil agreement, signed by Deputy Foreign Ministers Ingrid Fiskaa and
Ramón Ripoll Díaz and representatives of the Cuban Basic Industry
Ministry and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD),
provides for training of personnel for oil exploration and production,
mainly at sea.
"It's Norwegian cooperation where we share our experience with petroleum
resource management, an exchange between experts about technology that's
used for offshore exploration and drilling," Fiskaa said during a press
conference in Havana.
There have already been two Cuban-Norwegian offshore expert seminars in
Havana, she said, and a third one is scheduled for next week.
The agreement is separate from Statoil ASA's offshore business in Cuba,
Fiskaa said. The Norwegian state company is a junior partner in a
consortium led by Spain's Repsol YPF that is expected to begin
exploratory drilling by October. Statoil is also about to begin
exploratory drilling in Bahamian waters near the maritime border with Cuba.
NORAD's "Oil for Development" program aims at assisting developing
countries in their efforts "to manage petroleum resources in a way that
generates economic growth and promotes the welfare of the whole
population in an environmentally sustainable way," according to NORAD's
Website. The program, providing support with resource, revenue and
environmental management, is implemented by the Norwegian Petroleum
Directorate, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, The Directorate
for Nature Management, and Petrad, an international program for
petroleum management and administration.
During her visit in Havana through Thursday, Fiskaa is scheduled to meet
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, Church officials, and disaster
response officials. She also signed an agreement for Norway to provide
assistance in the development of aquaculture in Cuba.
Finally, she talked about Norwegian-Cuban cooperation in a three-way
agreement with Haiti for the reconstruction of Haiti's healthcare
system. Norway has been funding a Cuban-led effort in Haiti since before
the 2010 earthquake.
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