Hydro supports Russian students

October 25, 2005, 14:45 CEST

Arkhangelsk State Technical University in Northwest Russia held a ceremony on Tuesday to honor local teachers and students selected as participants in Hydro's academic stipend program. The selected students will study sub-sea technology.

Two teachers, three doctoral candidates and six students received certificates at the ceremony attesting to their acceptance into Hydro's stipend program, which has a duration of three years.

The program provides economic support and will also include visits to Hydro's research institutions in Norway.

"It was an exceptionally successful event with good attendence from both the university and Russian press," comments Benedikt Henriksen, project leader of Hydro's Shtokman Supplier Development Program in Russia.
Hydro's initiative in Arkhangelsk is an extension of the stipend program started in Murmansk two weeks ago.

The point of the program is to merge Norwegian offshore experience with Russian academic expertise within oil and gas to prepare Northwest Russia for future petroleum develoments in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea.

"The stipends this time will largely be applied towards oil and gas related questions tied to sub-sea technology," says Henriksen.

He adds that merging academia with the petroleum industry is a new step forward and an important milestone in developing the Russian side of the Barents Sea.

Supplier development
Hydro's cooperative work with the university in Arkhangelsk is a part of its ongoing supplier development program, which is helping prepare the Russian supplier industry to support development of the giant Shtokman offshore field.

"We want to use the project model from Hydro's Ormen Lange development, which builds on more than 30 years experience developing fields in the Norwegian offshore sector. Through close cooperation with government entities, academic institutions and suppliers, we've achieved a high level of domestic Norwegian content in Ormen Lange - Norway's largest industrial project ever. This kind of cooperation is imperative to carrying out petroleum projects of this magnitude within the projected time frame and budget. We want to now share this experience with Russia to ensure successful offshore projects with high Russian supplier industry content," Henriksen says.

Hydro's supplier development program was started in 2002, after a meeting between Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and former Norwegian prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik. The two discussed the significance of a closer working relationship between Norway and Russia in Northwest Russia.

To date, Hydro has identified more than 400 suppliers, evaluated 100 of them, and pre-qualified six Russian suppliers for work in the Norwegian and UK offshore sectors through the Achilles procurement system. Two of the six companies, Murmansk Ship Yard and Mostotryad 9, are currently delivering to Norwegian companies.