The gas find “Luva” off Helgeland was today renamed “Aasta Hansteen”. Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe, announced the new name during a speech at a Norwegian Sea conference held in Stjørdal on 8 March 2012.
Aasta Hansteen was a campaigner for women’s rights and a high-profile participant in the Norwegian social debate, not least through her 1878 book “Kvinner skapt i Guds billede” (“Women created in the image of God”).
“Aasta Hansteen was a pioneer in the promotion of women’s rights in Norway. She was a central person in Norwegian history, and so it is particularly pleasing to be able to announce this change of name on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
Aasta Hansteen originally trained as an artist, and enjoyed great national and international success as a portrait painter before becoming a high-profile social debater. In 1871, she wrote the opinion piece “Kvinners stilling i verden” (“The position of women in the world”). In it, she challenged the commonly-held Christian view that the subordinate position of women was part of God’s plan for creation.
On her 80th birthday in 1904, she was appointed an honorary member of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights.
In its white paper on Norway’s petroleum policy, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced a change of practice in the naming of petroleum fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. One of the measures taken was to appoint an advisory committee on names, which currently consists of Karsten Alnæs (chair), Kristin Clemet, Per Egil Hegge and Marit Hauan.
“It is important that the names of large, independent developments have a signal effect beyond the continental shelf. This helps to emphasise that the petroleum industry belong to the entire Norwegian population,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
The Aasta Hansteen find was discovered in 1997. It lies about 300 km northwest of Sandnessjøen. The operator, Statoil, expects to submit development and operation plans at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013. Start-up is planned for the fourth quarter of 2016.