Royal interest in Ormen Lange

August 22, 2006, 15:00 CEST

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon showed genuine interest in progress made on the Ormen Lange field development project during a visit to Hydro's stand at the Offshore Northern Seas conference and exhibition (ONS 2006) in Stavanger on Tuesday.

As tradition dictates, a member of the Norwegian royal family officially opened the event. Crown Prince Haakon also used the occasion to tour the exhibition area. At Hydro's stand, he met Hydro board chairman Jan Reinås and executive director Tore Torvund, who heads up the company's Oil & Energy business area.

"It's a great pleasure that the Crown Prince showed such keen interest in Hydro's stand. It's an excellent opportunity for us to inform him about the technology behind the Ormen Lange project and the expertise we are acquiring as operator of the development. This expertise is very interesting and important to our development of northern regions. The Crown Prince wished us luck in our quest to be part of the Shtokman field development," said Torvund.

Crown Prince Haakon used the occassion to ask questions about the Storegga slide that occurred on the Ormen Lange field some 8,000 years ago. The affected area, which lies off the northwest coast of Norway, is almost as large as Iceland. The cataclysmic geological event left a very hilly sea bottom, which has posed enormous technological challenges to laying pipeline on the Ormen Lange field. The Crown Prince was also intrigued with the UK gas market situation. Ormen Lange will likely supply the UK with up to 20 percent of its gas needs for several decades to come.

The ONS 2006 is an important meeting place for Hydro. Numerous formal and informal meetings take place between cooperation partners, representatives of the authorities and potential business connections. During the first few hours of this year's exhibition, the Hydro stand hosted delegations from Russia, Iran and Brazil. Hydro's technology for developing oi and gas fields was a central theme in resulting conversations.