OTC.13: Norway celebrates 40 years

OTC is marking a milestone for Innovation Norway this year with not only its largest ever pavilion for Norway but also a celebration of 40 years of the country showing at Houston's annual global oil and gas showcase.

The event was marked by the presence of Norway's Crown Prince and Crown Princess, echoing the visit of the King of Norway to the country's stand in 1973.

Norway's petroleum minister, Ola Borten Moe, also spoke at the capacity lunch event at the Norway pavilion.

He commented on the achievement of the industry and how it had developed over the past 40 years.

"Fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are often in remote areas with no infrastructure in place and in deep waters," he said.

"Technology development has been necessary to make fields economic. I think this still will be the case in the future.

"There is a lot more to do and  a lot more fields to develop. We need more activity and more technology to fulfil the potential value.

"Norwegian industry has developed leading edge technology like subsea compression. Technology development has been important to increase recovery."

However, he said the goal was more. The average recovery rate was more than 40%, Statoil's aim was 60%, which still left 40% in the ground.

Also speaking was Kaare Storvik, who was marking personally the 40th year  since his first OTC.

He said: "When Norway first attended OTC in 1973 the Norwegian industry learned a lot and made good contacts."

For Kvaerner specifically, who he worked for at the time, he said 1973 was a big success because the firm won its first offshore job with a Houston-based company - ConocoPhillips.

"That was important. We also saw things that we didn't think would be good enough for the future.

"We saw the enormous manual burden on the drilling deck and over time in Norway we wanted to automate the drilling derrick.

"Another area we saw we had to do something was the living quarters."

Being an established seafaring-nation with already high standards, it was seen that better facilities than those in use would be needed.

"For many years we were dependent, with the British and French, on the US in order to learn the business. We then started using the NCS as a laboratory.

"We had started in good depth, with good reservoirs and good soil conditions. We have moved onto deeper waters, difficult reservoirs and soil conditions.

"We have also been very active in subsea engineering. It is really where things have developed, not only the well heads but also now compression and processing, which we are working heavily on.

"We are moving platform decks to the seabed, that's like science fiction."

He highlighted the Snøhvit field, which is a subsea field, tied back to shore facilities with a 160km pipeline with multi-phase flow.

He also said Norway was being smart. It produced complex vessels, previously getting the hulls made elsewhere and then doing the complex work in Norway. Now with developments in welding and automation, the hulls were also now being built in Norway, he said.

"The idea is we work smarter'" he said, concluding with "I like to say life begins at 40."

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