Anders Hodne (National Oilwell Varco) gave input during the meeting with the Mayor of Kristiansand.

Ten GCE NODE companies met with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Kristiansand Thursday morning to address industry challenges and possibilities.

The meeting was the first in a series of meetings which the City of Kristiansand and Business Region Kristiansand conduct with various industries each year.

“I am here to listen. What can the City of Kristiansand do for you? How can we assist you in succeeding in your business?” asked Jan Oddvar Skisland, Mayor of Kristiansand.

The supplier industry represents a substantial part of the total work force in the Agder region and is widely considered to be the most important industry in the region, with regards to employment, taxes and value creation.

“Oil and gas will be part of the energy mix for many, many years to come. Kristiansand is concerned with maintaining the workplaces and assist in any transition which may be required,” said Skisland.

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“I am here to listen. What can the City of Kristiansand do for you?” asked Mayor of Kristiansand, Jan Oddvar Skisland (center). Left: Kenneth Mørk (Political Advisor, Mayor’s Office). Right: Christoffer Jørgenvåg (Red Rock).

Executives from National Oilwell Varco, MHWirth, Cameron Sense, Air Products, Oceaneering Rotator and others were invited to the meeting. Several addressed the need for promoting the industry. Based on the climate debate, the image of oil and gas has been rapidly deteriorating in recent years.

“We should emphasize that oil and gas will be our core business for decades to come. We will also work for other industries, but oil and gas will be our main focus. It is important for all companies, but especially for companies with foreign owners, that politicians speak well of our industry, and strive to facilitate our companies,” said Tom Fidjeland, former CEO of Cameron Sense.

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Left-right: Magne Kristiansen (Castor Drilling Solution), Rune Damsgaard (Air Products), Eirik Bergsvik (MHWirth) and Tor Berthelsen (KSMV).

He was backed up by Eirik Bergsvik, CEO of MHWirth: “We will keep on doing what we are doing for many, many years. We are of course also addressing global challenges. Every day our engineers are working on developing more sustainable products that will lower our customers’ carbon footprint. We need politicians who understand and appreciate our industry. I am glad to learn that the Mayor of Kristiansand will travel to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, which is an important arena for the companies in our region.”

When in Houston, the top political level has traditionally met with global top executives from National Oilwell and Cameron Sense, which have their world headquarters in Houston.

Said Anders Hodne from National Oilwell Varco Norway: “According to our CEO, Kristiansand is one of the better cities when it comes to supporting its industry. He is impressed by and values the relationship with city officials and the political leadership, people he has met on several occasions throughout the years.”

Magne Kristiansen (Castor Drilling Solution).
Left-right: Christoffer Jørgenvåg (Red Rock), Tom Fidjeland (Cameron Sense), Christophe Reymann (Oceaneering Rotator), Anders Hodne (National Oilwell Varco) and Stein Otto Daatland (Business Region Kristiansand).
Top level meeting between politics and industry. Left-right: Jan Oddvar Skisland (Mayor of Kristiansand), Anne Lene Dale (GCE NODE), Christoffer Jørgenvåg (Red Rock), Christophe Reymann (Oceaneering Rotator), Anders Hodne (National Oilwell Varco), Bent Ståle Johansen (Tratec Norcon), Tom Fidjeland (Cameron Sense), Elin Vatne (Boss Industrier), Rune Damsgaard (Air Products), Erik Rostoft (Deputy Mayor of Kristiansand), Tor Berthelsen (KSMV), Magne Kristiansen (Castor Drilling Solution) and Eirik Bergsvik (MHWirth).