Mayors Harald Furre in Kristiansand (left) and Robert Cornels Nordli in Arendal (right) met with Clay Williams, CEO of NOV in Houston Sunday.

Mayors of Arendal and Kristiansand met with Clay Williams, CEO of National Oilwell Varco, in Houston Sunday.

“I appreciate the friendship with the mayors. For several years they have travelled to Houston to attend OTC and meet with me and NOV. We seldom see the political level engage so strongly in our company. It is very much appreciated,” says Williams.

He heads one of the world’s largest oil service companies from its Houston headquarters. NOV operates in 66 countries worldwide, but – with the exception of the United States – no other country has more NOV employees than Norway. And in Norway, much of NOV’s business is concentrated in Kristiansand and Arendal.

Williams expressed increasing optimism about the state of the oil and gas industry.

“Since the downturn started in 2014, I have never been more optimistic than now. Oil prices are rising and we are seeing an increasing gap between supply and demand of oil. There is no doubt that the activity will pick up, oil companies will look for and find new resources, and new rigs will be ordered. But it may still take some time,” says Williams.