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 Hoeven (N.D.) and John McCain (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 Barrasso (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.

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