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Associated Press, Published September 21 2013

Norwegian delegation studying ND energy industry

BISMARCK – A group of Norwegian officials is traveling to North Dakota for a weeklong study of the state’s booming oil industry.

The group is slated to start the five-day trip today in Fargo.

The delegation will be hosted by North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, Bismarck State College, McKenzie County Economic Development and several state leaders.

Norway is one of the world's leading oil producers, and North Dakota is the second-largest oil-producing U.S. state, behind Texas.

Two years ago, Norwegian energy company Statoil paid $4.4 billion in cash for Texas-based Brigham Exploration and its operations in North Dakota.

Norway's government owns most of Statoil's shares.

U.S. Census data shows that more than 30 percent of the North Dakota's population has Norwegian heritage.