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ONS 2012: Opening speech

Speech given by His Majesty The King at the opening of the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) conference, Stavanger 28 August 2012.

It is a pleasure for me to be here at the official opening of the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) conference. The Norwegian continental shelf is one of the world’s most dynamic offshore oil and gas provinces, and Stavanger is the centre of Norway’s thriving petroleum industry. The ONS exhibition, conference and festival underline the role of Stavanger as one of the most important oil cities in the world.

Professionals in the fields of oil and gas and energy come to Stavanger and find a meeting place where they can exchange ideas and experiences, and this in itself provides motivation and inspiration.

I have had the opportunity to participate in the official opening of the ONS several times. It is always with interest, excitement and anticipation that I make the trip to Stavanger for this event. Here I meet dedicated professionals who are working to ensure that the world has a safe and stable energy supply.

This year we want to confront the world’s energy paradoxes. This means attempting to understand both the opportunities and the challenges associated with the need for energy.

We are all dependent on energy, and energy is crucial if we are to give the poorest people on our fragile planet a better life. We are seeing the connections between our energy use and its impact on the environment and climate more and more clearly.

I know that this is an industry that has set ambitious goals with regard to sustainable development. The challenge of providing energy security and at the same time fighting climate change concerns us all. Our global common agenda is to provide sustainable energy for all. And it is essential that we succeed.

Exciting technological innovations are being made in the oil and gas industry. I am impressed by those who are engaged in oil and gas exploration in increasingly challenging environments, and who have the competence to extract oil and gas from complex reservoirs far below the surface of the sea, and to refine these resources to make the products we need in our daily lives.

Today, there is a great demand in the oil and gas industry for more professionals. The first generation of Norwegian oil workers is now approaching retirement age. I find it inspiring to see how new generations are able to draw on the experience and knowledge of past generations, while also finding ways to address the challenges of the future.

The oil industry is a global industry. People of many nationalities have participated in Norway’s oil and gas activities – and they continue to do so. Norwegian companies and professionals are increasingly becoming involved in projects abroad. International collaboration of this kind benefits us all.

I wish you every success with ONS 2012. I hope you will have fruitful and interesting discussions on the energy paradoxes we are currently facing, and on how we can ensure security of energy supply in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

I hereby declare ONS 2012 open.



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