OTC 2023: Norway celebrates 50 years at premier event
Way back in 1973, Norwegian companies and personnel first participated in, and exhibited at, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston. And ever since, the Norwegian pavilion has been a fixture at OTC, as the nation’s companies have contributed mightily to the proliferation and sophistication of offshore upstream technology.
Now, that participation has added up to 50 years. Accordingly, Norwegian government officials and company executives marked this milestone anniversary with a special celebration on Tuesday (May 2) at the country’s pavilion on the OTC exhibition floor. The invited crowd sipped champagne while listening to celebratory remarks from Norway’s Consul General in Houston, Dr. Hilde Skorpen; Stavanger, Norway, Deputy Mayor Dagny Sunnanå Hausken, and ONS Foundation President and CEO Leif Johan Sevland.
First up at the microphone was Dr. Skorpen (Fig. 1), who remarked on the special relationship between Norway and Houston, reflecting the close cooperation between Norwegian and U.S. energy companies for decades. She said that the best thing about her role as consul general is to be associated with all the good work done by the Norwegian business community and their American partners, particularly those in energy.
The consul general also spoke to the role that the consulate has played in Houston over the years, including at OTC. For instance, a primary task is to assist Norwegian companies in conducting their business while also working with other Norwegian partners that office locally. These include Innovation Norway, NORWEP and the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce.
For her part, Deputy Stavanger Mayor Hausken (Fig. 2) touched on the importance of the oil and gas industry over the years to both her city and Houston. This common, important factor led directly to the two cities agreeing formally to be “Sister Cities” in 1980. She spoke to the growth of trade between Stavanger and Houston over the years and how this has benefitted the economies of both cities. Obviously, most of this over the last 50 years has been oil-and-gas-related, although an increasing share is now related to offshore wind and other business lines.
Looking at the anniversary from the perspective of fellow conference/exhibition ONS, Sevland (Fig. 3) spoke to the constant innovation of Norwegian firms and the ability of them to showcase their technologies at OTC for the last 50 years. He pointed to the prominent role that Norway has played in growing and sustaining the offshore sector, not only in that country but in other regions globally. Norwegian companies should be proud, said Sevland, of the role they have played at OTC these many years.
Congratulations to Norway, its consulate, and the many Norwegian companies that have played a prominent role over the last 50 years. Here’s to many more years of Norway showcasing its oil, gas and other energy technologies at OTC!