Sunnmøre-native Ivar Aasen was a leading democratic and national strategist in Norway during the 1800s. He was a poet and linguist, but first and foremost the man who formulated Nynorsk (New Norwegian, one of two official written forms of Norwegian), based on how Norwegians really spoke. The 200th birthday of Ivar Aasen in 2013 has inspired Norway’s Language Year 2013, a national celebration of linguistic diversity.
The emergence of Nynorsk was part of the development of the Norwegian nation, and of Norway’s modernisation through the development of representative government. The decision by the Storting (the Norwegian parliament), in 1885 to place Danish-Norwegian (Bokmål) and Nynorsk on an equal footing gave Norway two official written forms of Norwegian. This step represented a radical innovation in 1885.
In the white paper An industry for the future – Norway’s petroleum activities, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy stated that the procedure for naming petroleum fields on the Norwegian continental shelf would be amended. Among the initiatives was the appointment ofan advisory committee on names, which currently comprises Karsten Alnæs (chair), Kristin Clemet, Per Egil Hegge and Marit Hauan.
“The names of large, independent developments have a signal effect beyond the continental shelf. In this case, the view was taken that the Ivar Aasen discovery should mark and remind us that Norwegian representative government is based on linguistic diversity, and that linguistic diversity has long been a characteristic of our democracy,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
The Ivar Aasen discovery is located in the central part of the North Sea, around 200 kilometres west of Stavanger. It is one of several future developments at Utsirahøgda, and lies close to discoveries such as Grieg and Sverdrup.
The operator of the Ivar Aasen project is Det Norske, which has a stake of 35%. Other partners are Statoil (50%) and Bayerngas Norge (15%). The total exploitable reserves in the Ivar Aasen discovery have been estimated at 17.2 million Sm3 of oil and 3.1 billion Sm3 of gas. Submission of plan for development and operation (PDO) is planned for December 2012, and production is expected to begin in the autumn of 2016.