One of last year’s largest oil finds, Aldous/Avaldsnes, was today named the Johan Sverdrup field. Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe announced the new name during a business and industry conference in Sandefjord.
The Norwegian petroleum adventure is the property of all Norwegians. That is why it is important that the names of large, independent developments have a signal effect beyond the continental shelf. The choice of name reflects the importance of the project and the operations now being conducted. Johan Sverdrup was the leader of the political movement which promoted the introduction of the parliamentary system in Norway, and remains an important symbol of the growth of a democratic Norway. I hope that this find will contribute in a significant manner to the development of the Norwegian democracy and our society in the future, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ole Borten Moe.
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 finds on the Norwegian continental shelf. One of the measures taken was to appoint an advisory committee on names, which currently consists of Karsten Alnæs, Kristin Clemet, Per Egil Hegge and Marit Hauan.
Johan Sverdrup’s work resulted in the development of a broad-based national movement that promoted independence from Norway’s union partner, Sweden. Sverdrup’s government expanded the vote, strengthened the rights of women and introduced a series of liberal reforms.
His most important proposal was to permit members of the government to attend the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament), to participate in open debates. In doing so, he set course for a system under which the government is independent of the majority grouping in the Storting, and is held accountable for its decisions.
Milestones along the way to this goal were the introduction of annual parliaments, expanding the vote for men, and strengthening the national desire for independence from Sweden. Johan Sverdrup’s work under the slogan “All power in this house” contributed to the fall of the civil servant state and made him a symbol of the development of democracy in Norway.