“We are very pleased with Norwegian industrial policy, in particular with Export Credit Norway and GIEK, and with R&D support from Demo2000 and other programs offered by The Research Council of Norway,” says Frode Jensen, Managing Director of National Oilwell Varco Norway (NOV).
Jensen’s statement was an answer to State Secretary Daniel Bjarmann-Simonsen’s inquiry as to what, if anything, in policy making could help support NOV business.
- Export Credit Norway offers competitive financing to buyers of Norwegian capital goods and services worldwide. It deals with the entire loan application process, including commitment, disbursement and monitoring of loans.
- GIEK, The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency, is a financial institution working on behalf of the Norwegian state to secure financing and export contracts for Norwegian companies.
The two financing schemes are well-known also at NOV global headquarters in Houston, USA.
“These schemes, combined with a lower company tax rate, is very supportive of NOV in Norway,” says Jensen.
He gave the State Secretary a comprehensive presentation of NOV, which included insight into the downsizing process in recent years.
“At the peak, NOV Norway employed 5,000 people. Today, we employ 2,400 people. It has been a very hard process, but the past two years have been pretty stable. The market is slowly improving and we are hiring people at some locations,” says Jensen.
According to Jensen, market oversupply will continue through the early 2020s. North Sea harsh environment remains the only market attractive for newbuilds.
“The only positive from the downturn, is a newfound willingness to implement new cost-saving solutions. Our focus is automation-ready rigs with full close-loop drilling and remote monitoring capabilities, industry-leading control systems with machine-learning capabilities, and complete drilling packages for full equipment compatibility and efficient commissioning,” says Jensen.
State Secretary Bjarmann-Simonsen says it is important to meet the industry and learn how the government can support business.
“Companies provide unique insight into the challenges that they face every single day. This was a very useful meeting,” says Bjarmann-Simonsen.