Norway to OTC

State Secretary Liv Lønnum gave the opening speech at the breakfast meeting for Norway2OTC on May 6th at Westin Galleria in Houston, Texas.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

Good morning to you all. 

Being scheduled to speak at such an early hour reminds me of the American industrialist Jean Paul Getty and his recipe for "success" – rise early, work hard and strike oil.

Whether we are rising early, working hard or striking oil, or maybe all of these, I am glad to see you all here. 

I’m honoured to be here in Houston and Texas for the first time - a natural destination for any Norwegian State Secretary of Petroleum and Energy. 

I also feel proud to be  part of a tradition of strong Norwegian presence here at OTC.  

First, I will complement Greater Stavanger and ONS Foundation for inviting me, and for putting together such an interesting breakfast seminar for the Norwegian delegation. – You have found excellent speakers that will give us a flavor of the energy development in the US. The Shale Revolution has been of great importance for the US, and has had an impact on the energy markets not only in the US, but also globally. I am really looking forward to the presentations. 

Today, I will mainly focus on the relation between the US and Norway on offshore activities. 

This year we are not just celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of the Offshore Technology Conference. 

In 1969 - also fifty years ago - the Norwegian oil era took off when we struck oil at our continental shelf. 

As all of you know, technology transfer was essential to the Norwegian oil industry in the 1970's. The experienced oil workers who laid the foundations of the Norwegian offshore adventure – and the main engine for our economic growth - were largely Texans. 

Since then, fifty years on, the relations between Norway and Houston has evolved into a high-traffic two-way street. 

There are still many Texas-based companies in Norway. 

ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, National Oilwell Varco and TechnipFMC, to mention just a few, have had great success, made major investments and have built significant operations in Norway.   

Going the other way, there has also been a growing Norwegian presence in Houston. 

The large Norwegian delegation here at OTC is one example, not to forget the large Norwegian business community already present in Houston.  

In both our countries, our business communities generate jobs, and there is a fruitful exchange of technologies.  

The core of this connection is still – and has always been - our relations on energy and offshore activity. 

Houston and the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important offshore markets for the Norwegian industry. 

Petroleum activity connects us, and it is a diverse connection – ranging from large to small companies in different offshore segments: 

Such as Equinor – Norway's energy giant – with activity offshore and onshore in the US.  

And, Aker Solutions with offices here in Houston, and an umbilical production facility in Alabama.  

Or, smaller companies providing innovative solutions to the industry. Such as XSENS and FutureOn, both Spotlight-award winners here at the OTC. Congratulations to you both! 

These examples tell us Norwegian-American relations have a solid and diverse foundation, which will be important as we look ahead. 

The theme of this year's opening session at OTC is "the next 50 years of offshore developments". 

I will be the last one to predict the future. However, what is certain is that the future will bring both opportunities and challenges. 

Whether it is improving technology, cutting costs, reducing the industry's carbon footprints or finding new ways and areas to use offshore solutions. Some things are certain. 

This industry will continue to play an important role. I believe that Texas, yet again, can be that guiding star as we race to reach this target.   

I also believe that offshore energy will continue to be the core of the excellent relationship between Norway and the US. However, I am glad to see that Offshore Renewable Energy Development might be a new area for cooperation between our countries. Offshore Wind is high on the agenda in many states in the US, as it is in Norway. 

Together with our American partners, we do our outmost to find good solutions to common challenges, and to make the most of the opportunities offshore.  

That is also what the OTC 2019 is about. 

I wish you the best of luck during the next days here in Houston. 

Thank you.