They met at MacGregor February 5th (left-right): CEO Høye G. Høyesen at MacGregor, Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland, CEO Anne-Grete Ellingsen at GCE NODE and Member of Parliament Ingunn Foss.

“We will see enormous investments in the oil and gas industry for years to come”, said Minister of Trade and Industry, Monica Mæland, as she visited MacGregor and GCE NODE Friday.

Mæland said she still expects the industry to be downsized.

“Some people will move on and never return. Our main challenge is to secure that the people we need to return to the industry, when the market improves, will indeed return”, said Mæland.

As a measure, the industry has called for increased use of layoffs, with a layoff period extended from 30 to 52 weeks. The Minister is skeptical.

“If a laid off person is not actively looking for new employment, and is uncertain whether or not his employer will take him back after a year, we have a dangerous situation. We will of course listen to the industry’s need, but as of now, we don’t really see the upside of such an idea”, said Mæland.

At MacGregor in Kristiansand, she met with CEO Høye G. Høyesen and other executives at MacGregor, and CEO Anne-Grete Ellingsen at GCE NODE. Both Høyesen and Ellingsen talked about new company and cluster efforts to extend existing competence into new markets like offshore wind and deep sea mining. Both also discussed how digitalization will change the industry.

“Excellent! I firmly believe this to be ‘a century for the oceans’. That is why we will invite key players to a national ocean conference in Bergen in May. We need to bring the ocean related industries together”, said Mæland.