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Office and consulate opened

May 26, 2004, 09:50 CEST

The official opening of Statoil’s new office in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, was performed yesterday, 25 May, by acting chief executive Erling Øverland.

Covering about 200 square metres, these premises are located in the Astana Tower in the centre of the city and will also serve as the Norwegian consulate.

Per Einar Rettedal, who heads the office, was appointed Norway’s honorary consul to the central Asian republic earlier this year.

In his speech, Mr Øverland noted that Statoil resolved as early as last year to establish a presence in Astana.

This decision followed good progress in discussions with the national KazMunayGaz (KMG) oil company to identify attractive prospects for a strategic collaboration.

With its new office, Statoil is also demonstrating a clear ambition to become a substantial player with a long-term perspective in Kazakhstan.

Mr Øverland was assisted during the opening ceremony by Uzakbay Karabalin, president of KMG.

The consulate was then opened by Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who is on an official visit to Kazakhstan. He was assisted by Kasymzhomart K Tokaev, foreign minister of the host nation.