Hydro sees supplier cooperation between Finnmark and Russia

December 10, 2004, 14:00 CET

Hydro has started work on charting companies in Finnmark, northern Norway, that could supply services to the oil and gas industry in north-western Russia in collaboration with local Russian suppliers.

"Hydro has found that the local supplier industry has in general been very important for oil and gas developments on the Norwegian continental shelf. We now hope to help the supplier industry on both sides of the Russian-Norwegian border to be better equipped for a future development of oil and gas fields in the Barents Sea," says Benedikt Henriksen, project manager for Hydro's supplier development project

The supplier project was initiated as a follow-up of a joint statement by the Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik in November 2002, in which they pointed out the importance of cooperation between the Norwegian and Russian supplier industry on projects in the northern areas.

"We know that there are several companies in Finnmark that have potential for providing services to the oil and gas industry in north-western Russia. We will now assess what basis there is for a collaboration between Norwegian and Russian suppliers," says Henriksen.

Hydro's supplier development project has so far resulted in four Russian companies qualifying for work on the Norwegian and British continental shelf through the qualification system Achilles. Hydro has also recently started work on establishing a centre of expertise for suppliers in north-west Russia.

Hydro has financed most of the supplier project in connection with its business involvement in north-west Russia. The project is supported by the local authorities of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in Russia, and Finnmark and Sør-Varanger in Norway, the Russian oil and gas company Sevmorneftegaz, Innovation Norway and the Barents Sea secretariat.

Can strengthen the position of Finnmark companies

Hydro will arrange a seminar in Vadsø on 13 and 14 December, which will be attended by potential supplier companies in Finnmark. The seminar will be opened by the mayor of Finnmark county, Helga Pedersen.

She is pleased that Hydro's supplier development project in north-west Russia is now also being established in Finnmark.

"The county council of Finnmark believes that this project can help to strengthen the position of Finnmark companies in relation to oil and gas operations in the north, by linking Russian supplier companies up to companies in Finnmark. Now our companies have to show that they can qualify, like the Russian companies. It is therefore important to build up skills and arrange for qualification. Hydro's establishment of a centre of expertise in north-west of Russia is an exciting step, and I hope the Finnmark companies will benefit from this," she says.