Mayor Arvid Grundekjøn hosted a dinner where Tord Lien, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, met with a group of CEOs from the oil and gas industry in Agder Tuesday.

From left: Tor Henning Ramfjord (NOV), Mayor Arvid Grundekjøn of Kristiansand,

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien, Anne-Grete Ellingsen (GCE NODE) and Bjarne Skeie.

​Lien discussed the industry’s current challenges in the face of lower oil prices.

– The oil and gas industry is cyclical, but also dynamic. It is an industry that has experienced ups and downs before – and always grown stronger. Petroleum will continue to be our largest industry, by far, for many decades, said Lien.

The Government has targeted investments in research and higher education, also within oil and gas. Lien said development of more effective technology and increased recovery are key objectives.

– It is essential that the industry, research institutions and government work together to develop new cost-effective solutions. The Center for Offshore Mechatronics is a good example of such cooperation, said Lien.

The Minister was, of course, asked to contribute to the planned Mechatronics Innovation Lab (aka Sørlandslab), but was hesitant to make promises.

– In general, I would like to emphasize that the government has made room for a significant growth in research infrastructure in The National Budget for 2015, and in the long-term plan for research. However, we should remember that there are many good ideas and that competition for funding is fierce, said Lien.