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Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Visits North Dakota and Heritage Center

Posted 11/16/12 (Fri)

Ola Borten Moe, Norway's minister of petroleum and energy, and a delegation of Norwegian oil officials visited the North Dakota Heritage Center November 6, as part of a multi-state tour through the country.

As part of the visit, the State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation hosted a luncheon for the delegation, state officials and representatives of North Dakota's oil industry. Also attending were Sons of Norway members and State Historical Society and its Foundation staff.

During the luncheon, the group heard about the partnerships with North Dakota's oil incustry that have secured the private donations that made possible the construction of the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center that is now underway. 

Presentations were also made about the cooperation of the Norwegian Ambassador with the North Dakota Sons of Norway lodges to raise funds to have a room in the Heritage Center named in their honor.  Following another program on North Dakota's fossil resources, the delegation was given a tour of the the progress on "Dakota," the dinomummy.  

In addition to Borten Moe and his wife, Anna Ceselie Brustad Moe, other members of the delegation were Ivar Vigdenes, political advisor; Elisabeth Berge, secretary general; William Christensen, assistant director general, all from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy; Maryann Løcka, energy counselor, and Lars Petter Henie, minister counselor, from the Norwegian Embassy; and Torstein Hole, senior vice president; Nathan Teti, mamanger, U.S. onshore public and regulatory affairs, and Ola Morten Aanestad, vice president of communication, all from Statoil in Houston.

Borten Moe, age 36, became Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy two years ago. Moe is also the vice chair of the Centre Party (Senterpartiet).  Since 2005 he has been a Member of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) for Sør Trondelag, and Deputy Member since 2001. In 1995 he became member of the Trondheim city council, and served for three consecutive terms.

He has been a member of the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment from 2005-2007. He was chair of the Standing Committee on Business and Industry from 2007-2009 and First Vice Chair in the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs from 2009-2011. He was also vice chair of the parliamentary group steering committee.  Borten Moe represented the Center Party for 17 years, 10 of them full-time.  

Borten Moe, a farmer, is the grandson of former Prime Minister Per Borten who served from 1965 to 1971. He studied agronomy, political science and history at Skjetlein Agricultural and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Oil and gas was discovered on the Norwegian Continental Shelf more than 40 years ago.  Offshore oil and gas resources have benefited Norwegian society making it possible to create the largest pension fund in the world of more than $600 billion for a country of 5 million citizens. 

The petroleum industry is Norway’s largest industry employing about 200,000 people.  Recently several large discoveries have been made on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The oil industry is now moving north – a development which holds great potential and creates considerable excitement and some controversy. 

A year ago Norway’s state-controlled Statoil came to North Dakota with the strategic acquisition of Brigham Exploration for $4.4 billion, thus becoming a major oil company in North Dakota.

Statoil is two-thirds owned by the Norwegian government. Norway is the second-largest net exporter of gas and is the seventh-largest exporter of oil in the world.