OSLO — In a surprise move, Norway and Russia agreed yesterday to evenly divide a long-disputed area in the Barents Sea, a promising oil and gas region in the Arctic made more accessible by global warming.
President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway said only technical details remain to be worked out before a deal can be signed delimiting the border, ending negotiations that have dragged on for decades. Such a deal would also have to pass the two countries’ legislatures.
“We have now turned the page on this issue,’’ Medvedev told reporters in Oslo.
About 90 billion barrels of oil and one-third of the world’s undiscovered natural gas lie hidden in the Arctic region, the US Geological Survey estimates.
Both Medvedev and Stoltenberg noted that the latest agreement would promote cooperation between the two countries’ energy sectors.