New risk assessor

May 8, 2000, 10:00 CEST

Geir Westgaard has taken over from Anne Kristin Sydnes as Statoil's vice president for political risk and country analysis.

Ms Sydnes has left the group after being appointed minister for development assistance in the Norwegian government which took office earlier this year.

For the past couple of years, Mr Westgaard has been attached to Statoil Energy in the USA and acted as the group's representative in Washington, DC.

Social responsibility is one of the characteristics of Statoil's international operations, he says. This gives it a competitive edge in business development.

His most important job will be to deliver risk assessments and country analyses which help Statoil to master the many political, economic and social challenges posed to the group and its reputation by international exploration and production operations.

"Finding oil is a necessary requirement for international success," says Mr Westgaard. "But it's not always a sufficient requirement. That's where I come in."

He has previously worked at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with diplomatic postings to Washington and Moscow. From 1995-97, he served as foreign policy adviser in the prime minister's office.