Official visit to the US: INTSOK
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be with you here today.
This is my first visit to Alaska, but it almost feels like being at home. The great mountains rising up from the sea behind Anchorage remind me of the Norwegian coast and fjords. Like Norwegians, Alaskans have adapted to rugged terrain and a harsh climate, and have built a thriving society based on responsible and long-term use of natural resources.
Perhaps this is why so many of the Norwegians who came to the United States over the last century decided to settle in Alaska. In addition to the prospects of finding gold, of course.
Today, both Norway and Alaska are well-positioned to make use of the growing interest in the Arctic to develop new industries and create jobs. There are many opportunities for trade, tourism, mining, shipping, and oil and gas activities.
Norway and Alaska have much to learn from each other, and plenty to gain from increasing our economic collaboration in the Arctic, particularly in the oil and gas sector.
As many of you know, Norway’s oil and gas history started at the end of the 1960s. We had no experience of upstream oil and gas at that time. The knowledge and technology - provided by companies like Phillips, Mobile, Conoco and Amoco – were essential for what we now call the “Norwegian oil adventure”.
Norway has always had an open and international approach to its oil and gas industry. As a result, our country has currently one of the world’s most complete and advanced offshore clusters.
We have world-class shipbuilding companies that provide technologically advanced supply ships to the oil fields. We have companies that excel in subsea and seismic technology. And we have companies that have developed state-of-the-art technology to meet the challenges of the Arctic conditions, such as our oil spill recovery companies.
Representatives of several of these companies are here today to share their experiences and make new connections.
Making use of local knowledge in various forms of partnerships can lead to shared value creation.
I am confident that Norwegian companies will make worthwhile and responsible partners for Alaska’s oil industry, and can thus make important contributions to Alaska’s economic growth. Both due to their technology and expertise, and to their high standards for sustainability and environmental protection.
I wish you all a productive and interesting day.