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McCain, Hoeven push US natural gas in Norway

Two Senate Republicans are in Norway for meetings on reducing Ukraine and Europe's dependance on Russian natural gas.

Sens. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA GOP anxious with Trump on trade GOP lawmakers to Trump: Don't fire Mueller MORE (N.D.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (Ariz.) met with energy officials and senior oil executives in Norway, a top producer of oil and natural gas.

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Norwegian State Secretary for Oil and Energy Kare Fostervold, and Grete Birgitte Haaland of Statoil, Norway's major multinational oil and gas company, told the Senate delegation that Norway is working to explore new sources of gas in its offshore fields. 

Norway is also making more use of its existing field to maximize gas production.

The Senate Republicans see Norway as part of a solution that would also include U.S. exports of liquified natural gas. Republicans have used the Ukrainian crisis to tout those exports. 

"While Norway is a key supplier to Europe and can take some steps to temper the effects of Russia spiking the cost of natural gas, Norway cannot solve the problem of European energy dependence on Russia all on its own," Hoeven said in a statement on Tuesday. 

"The only real, long-term solution is to make additional LNG supplies available, and this means the United States has a strong role to play as a world leader."

Hoeven and McCain will be joined by Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances Trump pick for EPA No. 2 | Pruitt questions ‘assumptions’ on climate | Dems want Pruitt recused from climate rule review Senate panel advances Trump pick for No. 2 official at EPA MORE (R-Wyo.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in Moldova later this week, and during a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in the Baltics.

Hoeven along with other Republicans on Capitol Hill aren't backing down on liquified natural gas exports to Eastern European countries. 

Tensions continue to escalate between Ukraine and Russia. 

Last week, Ukraine's prime minister warned that the country should ready itself for Russia to cut off its natural gas supplies after pushing back against a price hike by the energy giant Gazprom.