Since discovering oil off the Norwegian coast in the late 1960s, Norway has developed into the world's seventh-largest petroleum-producing nation and its third-largest exporter of crude oil. The country is also Western Europe's most important source of natural gas.
Petroleum-related activities top the list of Norwegian exports. In 2003, the export of crude oil and natural gas accounted for more than 40 percent of the country's total export of goods and services. Moreover, the construction and operation of the largest offshore installations on earth has led to the establishment of a substantial offshore technology industry.
Norwegian companies are among the largest operators in terms of construction and production volume at sea. The national business portfolio reflects a commitment to innovative technology that has led to a fundamental shift in oilfield economics. Examples include subsea-to-shore field development concepts and intelligent well completions. A number of full-service technology firms not only provide niche products and services, but also routinely take on entire field developments, from feasibility studies to the design, installation and maintenance of fixed, floating and subsea production systems. A recent study concluded that the annual turnover in the Norwegian supply and service industry abroad is $5.5 billion and growing.
The Norwegian oil and gas industry continues to deliver leading-edge technologies. The two large Norwegian field development projects Snøhvit by Statoil and Ormen Lange by Hydro are due to deliver liquefied natural gas to the United States and piped natural gas to the United Kingdom markets in 2006 and 2007, respectively. These projects are based on robust, innovative and competitive Norwegian supply chains in gas field developments that are prepared to compete on similar projects internationally.
For more information on the Norwegian oil and gas industry, see www.norwayexports.no.