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Africa - ever more important for Hydro

September 26, 2005, 16:00 CEST

The 18th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) officially opened in Johannesburg on Sunday. President & CEO Eivind Reiten is one of the conference's keynote speakers, and Hydro is contributing with participants in roundtable discussions. Hydro's stand also won the prize for best stand at WPC on Wednesday evening.

The theme of this year's conference is "Shaping the Energy Future: Partners in Sustainable Solutions".

All the world's oil companies of any significance are present. 4000 delegates are expected to visit the conference from September 25 to 29. Around 200 exhibitors are participating and about 150 000 are expected to visit the exhibition.

Africa is becoming an ever more important development area for Hydro, which has interests in Angola, Morocco and Libya. Through its acquisition of the American company Spinnaker, which remains subject to approval, Hydro also has a foot in the door of exploration in Nigeria.

Meeting place

The conference is an important meeting place for making new contacts and is an arena that gives Hydro the opportunity to profile its expertise and present itself as an interesting cooperative partner i future projects.

This is the first time that WPC is held on the African continent and focus is especially concentrated on Africa.

"This conference really is an occasion for Africa," says Imogen Mkhize, head of the 18th WPC.

Official opening

The conferences' delegates were invited to dinner and the official opening in the Coca-Cola Dome on Sunday evening. In the gigantic hall tables were laid for several thousand people.

The event opened with a colourful show of song, dance and African rhythms, before Ayanda Mjekula, head of the South African National Committee for WPC, opened the conference.

South Africa's president, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, was present and was one of the many speakers that wished the participants welcome to Johannesburg.

Norheim in WPC board

The WPC board of directors for the next three year period was elected on the conference's first day. Dr. Randall G. Gossen of Canada was elected president.

Hege Marie Norheim, who is head of Hydro Oil & Energy's Partner Follow-up unit, was elected as one of four vice presidents. She has been a member of the program committee for WPC for the last three years and is the first woman to be elected onto the WPC board.

Hydro's stand

On Monday morning the exhibitions opened for visitors. Hydro's stand is spectacular and resembles an ice cathedral in the hall. Visitors can watch a virtual reality presentation of Ormen Lange, where Hydro will demonstrate advanced technology for complex development of fields in deep water.

One of the major attractions at the stand is the new Ormen Lange film. Ian Wright, the celebrity host of the Lonely Planet TV programs, conducts us on a voyage of discovery to Ormen Lange. He sets out to discover where the gas he uses to make his tea will come from in future.

On Wednesday evening, Hydro was awarded the prize for best stand at WPC.