Sen. Hoeven in Europe working on energy plan

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Republican John Hoeven is among a group of U.S. senators in Europe this week working on a plan to help reduce Ukrainian dependence on Russian natural gas.

The delegation on Monday met with Norwegian energy officials and executives of Statoil, a Norwegian company that operates in North Dakota’s oil patch.

Hoeven says Norway is working to reduce European dependence on Russian natural gas by exploring new sources of gas in its offshore fields and by making more efficient use of its existing fields. But he says Norway can’t do it alone, and the U.S. has a role to play.

Hoeven was among eight U.S. senators who traveled to Ukraine last month to get a look at the situation there after Russian troops occupied the Ukrainian province of Crimea.

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