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Royal platform debut

June 14, 2002, 13:45 CEST

Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon paid his first-ever visit to an offshore platform on 13 June when he flew out to the Sleipner East field operated by Statoil in the North Sea.

Accompanied by chief executive Olav Fjell, he was briefed on the operation by Sleipner A platform manager Ronny Larsen, who hosted the royal visit.

Mr Fjell also placed the field in the overall context of Statoil’s gas production and exports to Europe.

“I felt that His Royal Highness was genuinely interested in what we’re doing,” says Mr Larsen.

“As a naval officer, he’s spent a lot of time on board ships and said that he felt a tie to the maritime community. He seemed well-informed and keen to learn as much as possible about the business.”

The Crown Prince also had time for brief conversations with a number of the crew, including control room operators and catering personnel.

“My aim was to give him an impression of what life is actually like out here,” says Mr Larsen.

“Looking at slides and drawings in a meeting room doesn’t give the same impression as walking around to look at equipment and talk with people about the operation.

“We also put particular emphasis on the environmental aspect, and noted that His Royal Highness had many questions on that subject.”