16 May 2009

Vote wanted on oil sands project

8:37 am on 16 May 2009

A Norwegian opposition party is to seek a vote in Parliament on whether a state oil company should withdraw from an oil sands venture in Canada.

The Christian Democratic Party, a small centre-right party, said on Friday it will put forward a motion for a parliamentary vote on Monday.

StatoilHydro has a $US2 billion oil sands project in Canada. It bought 257,000 acres of oil sands leases in Alberta in 2007 to diversify from its ageing North Sea oilfields. Last year it dropped plans for a $US12 billion refinery there.

Norway is the fourth largest oil exporter in the world. A general election is due in fourt months.

The government said this week it would not back a call by Greenpeace to withdraw from the oil sands project.