Norwegians descend on Houston

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Record numbers of Norwegians working in the oil and gas sectors were in Houston this week for the large Offshore Technology Conference that attracts more than 100,000 participants from 120 countries. One of them already has won a major industry prize.

Carl Arne Carlsen has spent 40 years working for classification and consulting firm Det Norske Veritas, now DNV GL. He was honored at the conference’s opening ceremonies with its “Distinguished Individual Achievement Award,” in recognition of his “outstanding, significant and unique achievements and extensive contributions” to the offshore industry.

DNV reported that the “defining moment” of Carlsen’s career came as a consequence of the tragic capsizing of the Alexander Kielland semi-submersible drilling rig off Norway, which cost the lives of 123 workers. It capsized in severe weather after a column broke off because of fatigue failure of a bracing. Carlsen, appointed head of classification for mobile offshore units, was charged with developing a new set of industry principles to help prevent such an accident from occurring again. He later worked on developing enhanced surveys of oil tankers and bulk carriers to reduce losses in the shipping sector as well, contributed to ensuring safety of floating oil production and storage platforms and jack-up platforms. All this qualified him for his prize at the OTC, backed by the congratulations of 16,000 DNV GL colleagues.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that around 350 people from Stavanger and Bergen alone were attending OTC in Houston, including many local politicians such as Bergen Mayor Trude Drevland. “We gain knowledge and can show how important this industry is for the city and the region,” Drevland told DN.

State business development agency Innovation Norway had a waiting list of firms wanting to mount exhibits at OTC, which ranks as the largest oil conference in the world.

newsinenglish.no staff