* Lessons to be learnt from BP spill -Statoil chief
* No new regulation yet introduced
By Alister Doyle and Joergen Frich
OSLO, May 5 An oil spill similar to the one in
the Gulf Mexico could easily happen in Norway, said the
country's environment minister, while Statoil's chief said the
Nordic oil nation could learn lessons from the accident.
Environment Minister Erik Solheim said the oil well blowout
in the Gulf of Mexico showed that freak accidents can happen
anywhere with current technologies, no matter how tight the
"This was not a backyard company in an obscure African
dictatorship ... (It was) one of the most well-reputed world
companies with a very modern rig in one of the most advanced
industrial societies on the entire globe," he said.
"After this no one can seriously claim that this could not
happen in Norway or anywhere else," he told Reuters. "If you are
not completely blind it will affect everyone on the entire
The Nordic kingdom is the world's fifth largest oil exporter
and third largest gas exporter, producing petroleum exclusively
from offshore fields in the North Sea.
It says it has one of the strictest safety regimes for oil
activity anywhere in the world.
The head of the largest operator in the region, Statoil
(STL.OL), said he expected lessons in the United States from the
spill to be applied to Norway.
"I believe there will be some learning from the Gulf of
Mexico that we can certainly incorporate into our work," Statoil
Chief Executive Helge Lund told Reuters.
Norwegian authorities said they will ask oil companies
working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea to apply the
lessons of the accident once the precise reasons of the
Deepwater Horizon blowout are established.
"Companies working on the Norwegian continental shelf should
take into consideration the results of the investigation from
the incident in the Gulf of Mexico in their work to improve
safety," said Oil and Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen.
(Writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Keiron Henderson)