Tale/innlegg | Dato: 13.09.2010
Åpningstale av Olje og energiminister Terje Riis-Johansen for den norske standen ved Rio Oil and Gas 2010, Rio de Janeiro, 13.09.2010.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen – good friends
Brazil and Norway are divided by the Atlantic, but still united through centuries of shipping and trade and more recently through the increasing cooperation within the oil and gas sector.
I am truly happy to see representatives from so many Norwegian and Brazilian companies here.
Since its launch in 1982, the Rio Oil and Gas fair in Rio de Janeiro has gained reputation as one of the world’s largest international energy meeting places – after the large discoveries that have been made in Brazil – it’s importance grows proportionally.
During this year’s event, Rio de Janeiro welcomes around 40 000 visitors from many countries. Meeting places as the Rio oil and Gas are vital for the industry - and your participation and contribution are of great importance for the development of increased cooperation and business.
Some of the similarities between Brazil and Norway lie within being large energy nations. Our continental shelves have been developed over the last 40 years. We both have deep seas, high winds – a severe climate and a vulnerable environment. The challenges that have had to be met – have been the inspiration for the development of cutting-edge technology for operating safely and economically in these waters.
The Ormen Lange gas field, opened four years ago, is one example. Almost one thousand meters below the sea surface, in cold waters on a very uneven seabed, large technological breakthroughs was necessary.
Furthermore, the first Norwegian oil field – Ekofisk – has had an increase in recovery rate from the expected 17 per cent in 1971 to almost 50 per cent in 2010 – new technologies for increased oil recovery have created enormous values for the Norwegian society.
In 2009 - Norwegian based supply and service industries turned over about 30 billion USD totally. This represents a market share of approximately 15 % of the global offshore market – and it is estimated that 200 000 people are employed in Norway, directly and indirectly, as a result of the activities in the petroleum industry. These figures illustrate the importance of the petroleum industry for Norway. Brazil is a high priority market for the Norwegian petroleum supply industry contributes to strengthening the relationship between Norwegian and Brazilian companies.
I know that Brazil has a highly advanced offshore industry – and especially world leading competence in deep sea drilling. Brazil and Norway’s competence are highly compatible and also some of the basis for the important partnership that has evolved between Norwegian suppliers and especially Petrobras.
The last three years have been a reminder that it is difficult to predict the future and that risk and uncertainty are integral parts of the industry’s business environment. It is now more than two years since the financial turbulence started, and there is still uncertainty about what the new normal will be.
Also through the financial turmoil, Brazil and Norway seems to have similarities. Both Brazil and Norway have been less affected than many other countries. One reason is the continued high activity level in our petroleum sectors, where we both continue to see new projects and investments taking place.
I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the Deepwater horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon accident is a very serious and important reminder of the risks associated with petroleum activities. Fortunately, the spill has now been stopped. I had the occasion to visit the Gulf of Mexico this summer. The enormous efforts that I witnessed to stop and contain the spill made a lasting impression on me. I was surprised, but also impressed with the large Norwegian participation that contributed in these efforts.
11 people were killed and large economic, environmental and reputational costs, were a stark reminder of the importance and value of good regulation of Health Safety and Environment and practice to minimize risks.
HSE is an integral part of Norwegian petroleum policy. Safety standards are high. All involved parties have their say. In Norway, I believe that is a key to maintaining public acceptance. The next step is obvious. We – the authorities and the industry – must learn from the incident to ensure that we develop oil and gas resources safely and sustainably.
Ladies and gentlemen,
All of you present here today have an instrumental role to play in ensuring successful Norwegian-Brazilian partnerships.
Politicians create frameworks and opportunities.
But it is you whose joint efforts and commitment produce the results.
I would like to thank Innovation Norway for organizing the Norwegian Pavilion at Rio Oil and Gas together with the Norwegian Consulate General and the Chamber of Commerce.
It is an honor for me to declare the Norwegian Pavilion at the Rio Oil and Gas 2010 officially open.