US energy secretary on Mongstad visit

December 12, 2009, 19:06 CET



Steven Chu and Terje Riis-Johansen were given a detailed tour of the TCM construction site. (Photo: Dag Sunnanå)

Mr Chu was one of the closest colleagues of Barack Obama to accompany the US president on his visit to Norway this week to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Mongstad visit was staged at the initiative of Norwegian petroleum and energy minister Terje Riis-Johansen, who had invited his American counterpart when they met earlier this autumn.

After talks in Oslo on Friday morning, the two ministers met representatives from Norwegian industry. Statoil chief executive Helge Lund also had a separate meeting with Chu.

A technical seminar with Norway’s leading energy researchers was next on the programme, before Chu and Riis-Johansen departed on Saturday morning for a tour of western Norway.

That began with a visit to the country’s largest pump storage hydropower station at Saurdal near Stavanger, followed by a helicopter flight over the floating Hywind turbine off Karmøy.

The ministerial party then visited Kvilldal, Norway’s largest hydropower station, before continuing to Mongstad for a tour of and briefing on the TCM.
Statoil researcher Olav Kårstad also outlined the group’s work on carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Riis-Johansen was gratified to have had the opportunity to show his US counterpart what Norway can contribute to solving the global climate challenge.


US energy secretary Steven Chu visited the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) on 12 December. (Photo: Dag Sunnanå)


During his meeting with Chu, the Norwegian minister highlighted the TCM as an important project in world terms for future progress on CCS.

“Norway and the USA are among the countries most actively engaged in work on CCS, and we have common interests in this area,” said a satisfied Riis-Johansen.

“I’m therefore delighted that my American counterpart wished to devote a Saturday to this visit to Mongstad.”

Statoil is currently involved in four large-scale commercial projects involving carbon capture:

  • The Sleipner area in the North Sea
  • Snøhvit gas liquefaction in northern Norway
  • In Salah in Algeria
  • The carbon dioxide facility at the Mongstad refinery.