The oil and gas cluster here covers the entire value chain, from exploration and development, production and operation, to decommissioning. The industry develops new technology and competence to increase oil and gas production, and simultaneously maintain the strict regulations for health, safety and environment. With the far-ranging successes being achieved, it is clearly evident that the skills, experience and technology developed here are being utilized by the international oil and gas industry all over the world – and attracting expertise to the Bergen region to fill positions demanding experienced and ambitious employees.
The Bergen region is the home to a number of powerhouses within hydroelectric power. One of the cleanest forms of energy is hydroelectric power, and the combination of the wealth of water in Hordaland, combined with the ingenuity and environmental awareness of the region results in success on all levels when it comes to water power.
Clean Water Energy
The energy company BKK has its roots in western Norway, with activities including production, transmission and wholesales of electric power as well as consulting and business development services. BKK has approximately 1,000 employees and has its headquarters in Bergen. Together with corporate partners, the company provides secure, renewable energy and related services to 175,000 customers. In 2007 BKK recorded a production record of 8,4 TWh, making the company the fifth largest power producer in Norway. The company generates hydroelectric power from 30 power plants either wholly or partially owned by the company.
Bergen Energi was established in 1991 as the first independent energy brokerage house in a new and unique energy market. As European countries continue to deregulate their energy markets in accordance with EU directives, Bergen Energi is well positioned to aims to expand their international services. Other Bergen-based energy companies include Fjordkraft, which purchases energy from the Nordic power exchange Nordpool and resells it to customers nationally.
Alternative forms of energy are also in focus here in the region as part of the R&D programmes of the major energy corporations as well as core business areas of companies such as CMR Prototech, working to develop energy technologies for efficient power production, lower CO2 emissions and reduced environment energy impact.
An Energy Region
Hordaland is a region in growth in many respects and this is certainly true when it comes to energy. From hydroelectric power to alternative forms of energy to oil and gas, this region has major employers who are on the cutting edge of the industries that produce energy.
The Norwegian oil and gas industry has come far in the past half
century. From a time when it played no role in the county’s economy and society, it is now the largest industry in a country that ranks as the fifth largest oil exporter and the tenth largest oil producer. Not only that, Norway is the third largest gas exporter and the seventh largest gas producer – and nowhere in this country is the positive effect of the oil and gas industry more evident than in Hordaland.
Norwegian companies in the oil and gas industry are renowned for bringing home projects on time and under budget, and many of these companies are either represented or headquartered in the Hordaland region. These include well-known international companies such as StatoilHydro, Odfjell Drilling, Aibel, Kværner Offshore Parter, Framo Engineering and the AGR Group. This oil services company headquartered in Bergen offers a wide range of services ranging from constructing and managing drilling programs to providing services and technologies for exploration, production and maintenance.
StatoilHydro is internationally known for its cutting-edge technology and high return on investment, with benchmark studies showing that the company uses the most innovative solutions and is highly cost efficient due to the technology employed. One reason is the company’s ability to work closely with other companies as well as the Norwegian Government. Another is StailoilHydro’s large and demanding portfolio in the harsh environment of the Norwegian Continental Shelf, an area that demands nothing less than excellence. Bergen is the corporate headquarters for global drilling operations, exploration, and oil facility services.
Never ceasing to impress with their innovative activities, StatoilHydro is the largest employer in Hordaland. The numbers are large, including over 3,000 employed at the Sandsli facility – just one of several office complexes in Hordaland. The Technology and New Energy business area is led from here by Executive Vice-President Margareth Øvrum, who is also responsible for the Sandsli site. The Mongstad refinery is Norway’s largest exporter, with 10 million tonnes of fuel being produced annually, and is ranked one of the world’s most energy-efficient refineries. Mongstad employs over 1,000 people, as do the StatoilHydro installations at Kollsnes, the Sture terminal and the base at Ågotnes.
High Levels of Success
The organization with its finger on the pulse of the oil and gas industry in this region is the member organization Hordaland Oil and Gas, the coordinating organization for the petroleum activities in this region. According to Managing Director Sjur Storaas, “The aim of the organization is to utilize Norwegian oil and gas resources for economic growth in Hordaland. The level of activity here is high, with new fields being developed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and an excellent business environment that facilitates further development and growth for businesses in Hordaland, as leading producers and suppliers to the petroleum sector locally, nationally and internationally.”