Petro 2003: Oil and gas venue in northern Norway

September 3, 2003, 10:00 CEST

Petroleum activity in northern Norway is the main focus for the Petro 2003 conference that the Norwegian Petroleum Society is staging in Harstad from 3 to 4 September. Hydro's Ole Haugerud, departmental manager in Exploration and Development, will head the conference.

In his foreword to the Petro 2003 brochure, Ole Haugerud writes that petroleum activity is not just important for Northern Norway, but also necessary for ensuring added value and welfare throughout the country.
"The oil and gas sector, which has been Norway's most important industry for several decades, now faces a number of crucial challenges. Access to new exploration acreage on the Norwegian Continental shelf is a condition that must be met if we are to continue developing the oil and gas industry in the long term." At the same time, it is emphasized that access to new acreage also requires the petroleum industry to operate in harmonious co-existence with the other industries in northern Norway that depend on the sea as a resource.

"During Petro 2003 the report on the Lofoten-Barents Sea areas, compiled by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, will be circulated for public discussion. At the conference, central politicians and important Norwegian industry particpants will comment on both the opportunities and challenges facing us. I hope therefore that this conference will prove to be an important arena for exchanging opinions and discussing the sustainable development of the industries of the future in northern Norway," writes Haugerud.

The conference has been arranged by the Norwegian Petroleum Society's (NPF) local branches in Harstad, Nord-Hålogaland and Nordland. Ole Haugerud heads the NPF's Harstad office and is responsible for Hydro's Drilling and Environment Project.

Important participants

Both Petroleum and Energy Minister Einar Steensnæs and Fisheries Minister Svein Ludvigsen will attend the conference held at the Grand Nordic Hotel in Harstad, in addition to Statoil head Olav Fjell, executive vice president Tore Torvund of Hydro Oil and Energy, Norwegian Oil Directorate director Rolf Wiborg and head of the Norwegian Fishermens' Association, Reidar Nilsen.

The Petroleum and Energy Minister will hold a keynote speech entitled "Northern Norway at the oil and gas crossroads", while the Fisheries Minister will follow by discussing the question of whether safety and emergency preparedness are good enough for fishery and oil sector activity to take place side by side in northern waters. The two-day long conference will be brought to a conclusion with a panel discussion on the question "Northern Norway – protection or development?".