Tale på SINTEF-seminar i Rio de Janeiro

Tale av statssekretær Kåre Fostervold på SINTEF-seminar i Rio de Janeiro, 25.11.2013.

Tale av statssekretær Kåre Fostervold på SINTEF-seminar i Rio de Janeiro, 25.11.2013. Sjekkes mot framføring.

Executive Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour for me to visit Rio de Janeiro. It is my first visit to Brazil, but I am already eager to come back.
This is a special day. I look forward to signing the agreement that aims to enhance bilateral R&D co-operation in the petroleum sector.
  • This agreement is a milestone. It represents a long term commitment to a partnership between Brazil and Norway. I would like to compliment Mr. Elias for taking such an initiative.
  • This partnership is called the BN21, Brazil – Norway in the 21st Century. I think this is a good term.  It represents something visionary and it reflects our joint efforts in meeting future challenges.
  • I would like to compliment both the MCTI and Itamaraty for their constructive efforts in getting BN 21 off the ground.

What we have in common

There are many good reasons for Brazil and Norway to co-operate in the field of petroleum Research and Development:

Both countries have a demanding offshore environment that can only be tackled with continuous innovation. I think today’s seminar underscores this point.

We also face similar needs when it comes to attracting human resources with the right skills and competence.

  • Areas of common interest could for instance include R&D within exploration technology, especially addressing complex geology such as pre-salt.
  • Another example is subsea technology developed here in Brazil. Subsea technology is essential to develop the resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf as well. It also has a huge potential worldwide.

The process ahead

  • With this agreement in place, I think we stand stronger together in shaping our future. The agreement provides an excellent framework for kick starting concrete projects between industry and research communities in our respective countries.
  • Later today, Mr. Elias and I will meet to establish a government group and a stakeholder task force. Both groups will make sure that we can move joint projects forward in a timely manner. Besides we must see to it that results are relevant and shared for the benefit of all parties involved.
  • We will also start to discuss the mandate of the respective groups.  Subsea technology, enhanced oil recovery and drilling are among those areas that are high on the agenda. I do not think there will be any difficulties in getting industry involvement. These examples alone demonstrate that there is lots of common ground.
  • Given the demanding and difficult offshore environment in Brazil and Norway, both our countries will require technology in the high end based on research and knowledge.

Why is Brazil such an interesting partner for Norway?

  • As today’s seminar illustrates, there is a genuine interest in partnering with Brazil. So what makes Brazil so attractive for Norwegians (apart from a wonderful climate, excellent coffee and samba)?
  • In the world of energy, there are some truly impressive facts about Brazil. Let me mention some:
  • The world's largest oil discoveries in recent years have come from Brazil's offshore, pre-salt basins.
  • The Brazilian track record when it comes to breaking new ground in deep waters is remarkable. Brazil has been willing to take risk and to go into the most difficult areas known to the oil and gas business.
  • Looking at the rise in oil production and the rapid build-up of a Brazilian petroleum industry, it is no wonder that the world is looking to Brazil.
  • Recently the World Economic Outlook (WEO) by IEA was published. It included an extra feature on Brazil stating that Brazil is moving into the top ranks of global oil producers.

Still Brazil maintains one of the least carbon-intensive energy sectors in the world, despite experiencing an 80% increase in energy use to 2035.

This is a clear testimony of success, of which Brazil can be proud.
  • This is also why Norway would like to be part of the Brazilian experience.  And this is why so many Norwegian companies and research institutions are present here in Rio de Janeiro.

By the end of 2014, Brazil is expected to become the world’s largest offshore market for the international supplies and service industry. The Norwegian Continental Shelf is forecasted to be second. Combined Brazil and Norway represent a market potential exceeding 400 billion USD.

But Brazil is much more than a marketplace for advanced technology. You have also become a hub for Research, Development and Deployment of new technology. In many areas you are in the technological forefront.

What Norway has to offer

  • Our experience is that achieving technological excellence, and keeping such a position, cannot be done in isolation. It is my hope that the Norwegian familiarity with developing a domestic supply industry and building competence would be a valuable contribution to BN 21.
  • The Norwegian petroleum industry can be seen as a result of both cooperation and competition. Growing out of the shipping and maritime industries, the oil and gas industry had to deal with tough international competition from the very start.
  • The Norwegian continental shelf has always been open for foreign companies to invest and do business. This ensures diversity and competition. At the same time the government has been working to stimulate co-operation between oil companies, supply industry and the research institutions. This interaction has created a climate for innovation.
  • Willingness to take risk, technological foresight and a competent workforce have pushed the Norwegian petroleum industry forward. Technological advances and breakthroughs have been possible due to large projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This is similar to what we see happening in Brazil.
  • But, the world is constantly changing and yesterday’s solutions tend to become obsolete in a short time span.  That is why Brazil and Norway should pull together. In this way our industries can rise to new challenges: be it new records to be set in deepwater areas, improving recovery rates or meeting demands for more environmentally friendly solutions.
  • In sum, I am convinced that R&D developments in Brazil and Norway will be in a position to influence the global offshore future.
  • On this background, Norway is eager to pursue our bilateral collaboration with Brazil.

Concluding remarks

  • I look forward to some interesting days. Despite my short stay, I am sure that I will learn much about Brazil.
  • Before I close, let me thank all the organizers for providing such a wonderful opportunity for signing the agreement and for putting such an interesting program together.
  • I wish everybody a rewarding seminar!  Thank you.