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Hydro vice president first woman on WPC board

September 28, 2005, 11:00 CEST

Hege Marie Norheim, vice president in Hydro's Oil & Energy business area, has been elected one of four vice presidents on the board of directors of the World Petroleum Congress.

The election was announced on the opening day of the 18th WPC, which is meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week. The World Petroleum Congress is considered the world’s most important gathering of petroleum industry participants.

Although voting split along interest-group lines for several WPC board memberships, Norheim’s candidacy did not meet with any such partisanship.

"The other candidates generally had 30 years’ experience in the industry, so they must have been taken aback when I had to admit that I have only worked in oil and gas for four years," Norheim relates with a smile. Nevertheless, management unanimously approved the election of the first female board member since the WPC was established 72 years ago.

Dr. Randall G. Gossen from Canada was elected new WPC board president. Tasks during his three-year term will include preparations for the 19th World Petroleum Congress. Norheim, who heads Oil & Energy’s Partner Follow-up unit, has been a member of WPC’s program committee for the past three years.

All major oil companies worldwide are represented at this year’s congress in Johannesburg. Some 4,000 delegates will be participating in the congress, which closes on Thursday, 29 September. The congress’s trade exhibition is expected to draw 150,000 visitors.

Highlights of Hydro’s presence at the World Petroleum Congress are activities at roundtable conferences and a keynote speech by Eivind Reiten, the President and CEO of Hydro. Reiten takes the rostrum on the final day of the congress to talk about "Corporate governance — the factors that influence the image of the industry."

Hege Marie Norheim (38) received her business degree from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen and went on to study at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. She has served as a state secretary at the office of the Norwegian prime minister and Norway’s Finance Ministry. She joined Hydro as head of Oil & Energy’s communications department in February 2002. Since 2004, she has headed the Partner Follow-up unit responsible for Hydro’s ownership interests in fields on the Norwegian continental shelf where companies other than Hydro are the field operators.