The Norwegian state controlled energy giant Statoil said on Monday that it is bringing all its natural gas trading operations together under one roof in London as it seeks closer ties with the European markets. “The UK is a good base for short term sales into Europe and for its closeness to the north west Europe market in terms of information flows,” a spokeswoman told the Reuters information agency.
Statoil would continue to handle sales under long term contracts from Norway, she said. Statoil, already an active trader of wholesale gas in the UK markets, will have a team of fifteen dealers based at its existing central London offices. London has become home to hundreds of gas and power traders in recent years as US utilities such AEP as and Duke Energy have followed stricken group Enron in setting up European energy trading floors in the city. Britain has had an active wholesale gas trading market since the mid-1990s.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969