The Agder political and public sector delegation to ONS met with National Oilwell Varco and more than 20 other GCE NODE companies. Left-right: Alf Fredvik (NOV), Terje Øydne Pettersen (Kristiansand City Council), Bodil Slettebø (Grimstad Municipality), Trond Backer (Kristiansand Chamber of Commerce), Liv Øyulvstad (Kvinesdal Municipality), Alice Leland Høye (Business Region Kristiansand), Jannike Arnesen (Kristiansand Mayor’s Office), Arne Thomassen (Agder County), and Anders Hodne (NOV).

“Everybody is talking about renewable energy, and it seems like the Agder region is among the frontrunners,” says Trond Backer, CEO at the Kristiansand Chamber of Commerce.

After two hectic days at ONS in Stavanger, Backer sums up the experience, which included meetings with more than 20 GCE NODE companies and exploration of one of the largest offshore energy events.

“A very professional event with lots of people and great energy. I truly enjoyed it,” says Backer, who was part of a trip organized by GCE NODE for Agder politicians, economic development directors, and more.

What used to be an oil and gas conference and exhibition, has rightfully been rebranded as an energy conference and exhibition. Backer picked up on that, and so did Arne Thomassen, Mayor of Agder County.

“It is striking how ONS has developed to include other forms of energy than oil and gas. Although we must rely on the oil and gas industry for some time, it is nice to see that several Agder companies develop new technology which creates new opportunities,” says Thomassen.

He is, however, concerned with the availability of competence and skilled workers. As is Terje Øydne Pettersen, Member of the Kristiansand City Council.

“All the major companies voice the same concern. They have a hard time finding enough people to do all the work that lays ahead. Going forward, we need to educate more people, include more people in the workforce, and promote these industries,” says Pettersen.

Liv Øyulvstad, Business Manager at Kvinesdal Municipality, found the ONS visit useful.

“It is fantastic to see the competence level in the companies in our region, and how this competence is being transferred from oil and gas to the renewable sector,” says Øyulvstad.

Her colleague in Grimstad Municipality, Bodil Slettebø, agrees:

“I am very proud of our region and the Agder companies we met at ONS. They are frontrunners in both old and new industries,” says Slettebø.

Eirik Bergsvik gave an outlook from HMH’s perspective.
Thor Arne Håverstad gave a presentation of NORCE.
Cameron Sense, a Schlumberger company, presented by Cecilie Furnes and Noor Sait.
Otechos is a company with lots of great ideas.
A group of students at the University of Agder also attended the tour of Agder companies at ONS. Arne Hansson at Oceaneering Rotator gave a presentation.
Sofa chat at Tratec Halvorsen.
The political and public delegation stopped by MacGregor’s stand at ONS. Center: Tommy Knutsen.