Left-right: Harald Furre, (Mayor of Kristiansand), Anne-Grete Ellingsen (CEO GCE NODE) and Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen (CEO NOG) met in Kristiansand. Photo: NOG

“The contribution from the oil and gas industry to our region and country is tremendous. This is also an industry for the future,” says Harald Furre, Mayor of Kristiansand.

Local and regional politicians and industry representatives met in Kristiansand to discuss the oil sector from the Agder region’s point of view. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association has previously arranged similar dialogue meeting in multiple cities.

“The oil and gas industry has been and remains a mainstay of Norway and Southern Norway. Without revenues from the oil and gas industry and the national oil fund, every Norwegian would have to pay NOK 130,000 more in annual taxes,” said Furre.

He admits that the downturn in the oil industry has put its mark on the southern region. Thousands of skilled people have lost their jobs over the last two years, but the Mayor believes the industry is facing better times. Still, Furre says that we should not take jobs for granted.

“We still have to determine what to do with our major resources of oil and gas. If we choose to leave our resources in the ground, other oil producing nations will fill the gap. Those nations produce oil and gas in a manner that leaves a worse environmental footprint,” says Furre.

The dialogue meeting included presentations from Frode Jensen (National Oilwell Varco), Terje Damman (Mayor of Vest-Agder County), Øyvind Boye (Nymo), Anne-Grete Ellingsen (GCE NODE) and Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen (NOG).

In his introduction Schjøtt-Pedersen praised the industry in Agder: “Kristiansand and the Agder region have a world-leading and highly competent supplier industry. And the region has a unique cluster that not everyone is aware of,” said Schjøtt-Pedersen.

Anne-Grete Ellingsen found the meeting positive.

“Our major companies are for the most part exporters and not so visible in the Norwegian market. Thus, it is important for Norwegian politicians to understand and recognize the value creation that NODE companies represent. And to understand that the industry is moving towards more sustainable solutions, as illustrated in the industrial Road Map,” says Ellingsen.