Balazs's Feed
Sep 30, 2014

Norway’s oil minister concerned lower oil price will hit investment

TRONDHEIM, Norway, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Norway is concerned
about a drop in energy investment levels and would like oil
prices to rise back above $100 per barrel, but still sees
activity levels high by historical standards next year, the
energy minister told Reuters on Tuesday.

Exploration in Norway’s Arctic was disappointing this year,
despite record high drilling activity, and a key worry for the
sector is if service companies permanently remove capacity, as
they did in the 1990s, becoming unable to meet increased demand
once oil prices rise again, Tord Lien said.

Sep 26, 2014

New Yara CEO quits before he starts after merger talks announcement

OSLO, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Fertiliser maker Yara’s
new chief executive, who was to start in February, quit on
Friday just days after the firm announced it was in merger talk
with rival CF Industries to create a $27 billion company.

Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, who announced in July that he
would take the helm at the world’s biggest nitrate fertiliser
maker, said he will stay on as CEO of aluminium producer Norsk
Hydro, where he has worked for the past 29 years.

Sep 25, 2014

35 jet combat ready next year, new Israeli order close

OSLO (Reuters) – The first version of the F-35 fighter jet will be combat ready by mid-2015, despite an engine failure which still needs a fix, and Israel could sign a deal within months to buy more of the aircraft, program officials said on Thursday.

The cost of the jet, which has struggled with delays and budget overruns, could be reduced to the target level by 2019. South Korea’s decision on Wednesday to buy 40 F-35s for about $7 billion was a step in lowering the per unit cost, officials said in Oslo after a two-day meeting between F-35 partner countries.

Sep 25, 2014

35 jet combat ready next year despite engine fix: Lockheed

OSLO (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects the cost of the F-35 fighter jet to drop to its target level by 2019 and still sees the first version of the aircraft combat ready by mid-2015, despite an engine failure which still needs a fix, the firm said on Thursday.

A decision by South Korea on Wednesday to order 40 F-35s for around $7 billion further lowers the program’s cost and Lockheed sees the per-unit cost down to $80-$85 million by 2019 from the current rate of around $115 million, Jeff Babione, Lockheed’s deputy manager for the F-35 program told reporters in Oslo.

Sep 23, 2014

Norway’s Yara, CF in talks to create $27 billion global fertilizer producer

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s Yara (YAR.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chicago-based CF Industries (CF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are in talks about a merger of equals that could create a $27 billion global fertilizer producer, rivaling Canada’s Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in size in a fragmented and oversupplied market.

The deal would give Yara, the world’s biggest nitrate fertilizer maker, major production units in the United States, where costs are lower due to cheap gas. CF Industries would gain a global footprint through Yara’s presence in 150 countries with production assets and a well established distribution network.

Sep 22, 2014

Mitsubishi bets on salmon with $1.4 bln bid for Norway’s Cermaq

OSLO, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Corp has
offered $1.4 billion for Norwegian fish farmer Cermaq,
in a cash bid that would secure a larger share of the salmon
market for the Japanese group as it targets consumers’
increasingly health-conscious tastes.

Monday’s bid – at 96 crowns ($15.12) per share, a 14 percent
premium to Friday’s close – has been agreed by Cermaq’s board
and is supported by Norway’s government, the top shareholder
with 59 percent.

Sep 12, 2014

Wintershall buys $1.3 bln of Norwegian assets from Statoil

OSLO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – German oil and gas firm
Wintershall purchased a string of assets from Statoil
on Friday, keeping its reliance on Russia in check and helping
the Norwegian firm lower its costs in the Arctic.

Wintershall, a subsidiary of chemicals maker BASF
, will buy stakes in four fields off Norway, including
the Arctic Aasta Hansteen project, a stake in the 25 billion
crown ($3.7 billion) Polarled pipeline, and smaller stakes in
four exploration prospects, the firms said.

Sep 9, 2014

Norway condemns Hungarian NGO crackdown

BUDAPEST/OSLO (Reuters) – Norway condemned a Hungarian crackdown on non-government organizations on Tuesday after police, as part of a criminal investigation, raided the offices of an NGO that distributes Norwegian funding.

Earlier this year, Budapest launched a legal investigation against organizers and beneficiaries of Norway Grants, saying the Scandinavian nation was helping them advance the political goals of an opposition group. [ID:nL6N0OJ35E]

Sep 3, 2014

Obama says NATO must help strengthen Ukraine’s military

TALLINN (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama urged NATO on Wednesday to help strengthen Ukraine’s military and said the alliance must leave the door open to new members to counter what he called Russian aggression.

Obama was speaking in Estonia, one of three ex-Soviet Baltic states bordering Russia that fear separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine could herald problems for them. All three have sizeable Russian minorities and rely on Russian fuel deliveries.

Sep 3, 2014

Obama says will “degrade and destroy” Islamic State

TALLINN, Sept 3 (Reuters) – The United States plans to fight
Islamic State until it is no longer a force in the Middle East
and will seek justice for the killing of American journalist
Steven Sotloff, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

He added destroying the militant group will take time
because of the power vacuum in Syria, the abundance of battle
hardened fighters that grew out of al-Qaeda in the Iraqi war,
and the need to build coalitions, including with local Sunni