Reiten at December conference: "We make the impossible possible"

December 7, 2006, 17:00 CET

Energy and climate change was the theme at this year's December conference in Kristiansund, Norway. "We have made the impossible possible, and will also develop technology that solves these challenges," Eivind Reiten told conference participants during his presentation on Thursday.

"We don't address climate change to be politically correct, we do it because we believe it affects us and our activities. One thing we all agree on: Technology plays a big role. It is the most important ingredient to deliver solutions. And it is we who will deliver the technological solutions that resolve conflicts between energy and the environment," Reiten emphasized.

This year's December conference was the 24th in a row and its theme was "Energy to Europe – the Norwegian Sea delivers." The arrangers, KOM Vekst and the Norwegian Petroleum Association, aimed to set the Norwegian Sea in an international perspective.

Climate and energy challenges

Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg opened the conference by reflecting on climate and energy challenges.

"The development of new technology is essential to solving new environmental challenges now laying before us. We have seen how technology in several other circumstances has solved environmental problems confronting the world. It is important that we do not get into a situation where we have to choose between energy and the natural environment, but that energy and the environment unite through technological progress," he said

Reiten used Ormen Lange as an example for how Hydro has made the impossible possible in a few short years.

"What we thought impossible 50 years ago we're doing today. We're not spinning tall tales. No, we talking about ambition – a vision. We can find solutions and have found solutions. The Ormen Lange field has captured everyone's attention because of everything we've done."

On the way

"We are secure that we will supply the UK with gas, so they can boil their tea, when we promised to deliver it," Reiten said, pointing out that Ormen Lange will also be completed within budget.

The Ormen Lange project is now 90 percent complete, but there's still a lot of work to be done. Some 3,500 people are working everyday to build the land-based gas processing plant at Nyhamna, but the workforce will begin tapering off as the project nears completion.

Ormen Lange has had enormous local and regional significance. The project has also had signficance to many other nations.

"Gas consumption in Europe will increase from 530 to 600 billion standard cubic meters (per year). Some of this demand will be met by Ormen Lange," he said.

He is not afraid that gas prices will go down. The project in itself is highly profitable and competitive enough that its owners can live with varying power prices.