New industrial measures in the north

September 1, 2006, 01:45 CEST

"Statoil will take further actions in order to make companies in northern Norway more competitive for jobs in the oil and gas industry," said Terje Overvik at a seminar in Harstad on 1 September.

The seminar was part of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Statoil's northern Norway office in Harstad.

"Statoil's activities in the north have proved to have positive spin-off effects for the communities and industry in the region. In order to be able to grow in northern Norway the oil industry must have spillover benefits for the region, in the same way as in the southern part of the country," Mr Overvik added.

Mr Overvik is executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway (UPN).

During his speech he presented four new actions that will make industry in the north more competitive.

Prior to making procurements Statoil will prepare solutions, contract packages and tender conditions that to a greater extent enable local industry to submit successful tenders.

The company will contribute NOK 4-5 million per year over a four-year period to skills-upgrading measures. These measures will be linked to a supplier development programme under the direction of chambers of commerce, supplier networks and science parks.

"We wish to expand our cooperation with Harstad science park through direct ownership and a cooperation agreement," Mr Overvik said.
"Statoil will also consider establishing an industrial incubator in the region, working closely with the Industrial Development Corporation of Norway (Siva). This will be considered in the light of Hålogaland Incubator (Harstad), which opens today."

Statoil also wishes to establish an industrial coordinator position in Harstad, at the same time as the company strengthens the corresponding function that is already established in Hammerfest.

"Statoil aims to be an architect of long-term industrial solutions in the far north," Mr Overvik said. "We believe that the Barents Sea will become Europe's next big oil and gas province. Our competitiveness and possibilities to succeed will be completely dependent on good collaboration with a highly qualified and competitive supplier industry."