Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, opened Askøy Business Forum by praising the oil and gas industry.
– The sector has been through a painful restructuring process, and should be given credit for skilful implementation of cost-effectiveness measures. It is a process that has been necessary to improve competitiveness, says Søviknes.
In his opinion, the industry is now well prepared for an upturn.
– It has been hard for those involved, but we can now see a change for the better. There is clear evidence of this, says Søviknes, but underlines that this is subject to the sector being able to keep its costs down.
The Minister of Petroleum and Energy was also given a guided tour of Askøy, including company visits at One Subsea and Framo. He was impressed with what he saw.
– There is something new to learn during every company visit. I have now had the opportunity to talk with people in production as well as management about what is important in terms of recruitment and also to improve the reputation of the sector. This input is crucial as we have to ensure that the best minds and the most skilled professionals are recruited to the oil and gas industry, says Søviknes.
Recruitment to the sector is a subject in which the minister takes great interest. The message that the oil and gas industry is “on its way out” is without foundation, he feels.
– We will produce oil and gas for many decades to come. It is extremely important that this is communicated in order to encourage recruitment to the sector, says Søviknes, and refers to forecasts showing that oil and gas are still estimated to account for 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption in 2050.
Venue for the Business Forum, which gathered some 50 participants from businesses and authorities in the Bergen region, was Sjølivet – Framo’s new head office at Florvåg. The main purpose of this forum is to gather support for specific projects that will contribute to further development of, and also an increase in, deliveries from industrial enterprises throughout the region. It is organised by Askøy Kommune (local authority) in collaboration with local businesses.