TV2 interviews Alv Solheim, Technical Director at Wintershall NorgeWinterhall Norge is one of the fastest growing companies in Norway. To find out more Norwegian television channel TV2 took the opportunity to interview Alv Solheim.
Winterhall Norge is one of the fastest growing companies in Norway. To find out more about the company and its strategy Norwegian television channel TV2 took the opportunity to interview Alv Solheim, Technical Director at Wintershall Norge, in their live studio during ONS 2014. Solheim gave interesting insights into the company's projects and its growth strategy in Norway.
Interview: Fastest growing oil company in Norway. Wintershall focuses on future progress. Alv Solheim, Technical Director, Wintershall Norge.
TV2: Now we will focus on a German company in the North Sea, namely Wintershall Norge, which is currently the fastest growing company in this industry. I've got Alv Solheim in the studio. Welcome. You are the Head of Production Operations in Wintershall Norge. You have now taken over the operatorship of the Brage field, after an agreement from 2012. What can you tell us about it? How successful has it been and what is the impact for the company?
- Alv Solheim: This means quite a lot for the company and the acquisition went very well. We agreed to a deal with Statoil in October 2012 and we took over the operatorship in 2013. We spent less than a year to prepare ourselves for the take-over. It has a huge impact on the company - it's like stepping up in the Champions League in football, as a comparison. You're in good company, but it also means you will be operating every day of the year, 24 hours a day, Monday to Sunday, Christmas and New Year's.
And you will also get a very different cash flow, a higher revenue stream than before. How will you use it?
- Yes, we get a different cash flow, that is correct, and it fits well with our global growth strategy, and growth strategy in Norway. We actually just decided on a growth strategy until 2024, a ten-year strategy for growth, and it is very nice to have production and earn money that can be invested going forward.
A tenfold increase, so far?
- We did a ten-fold increase during last year, from 400 million to 4.7 billion in earnings.
Wintershall Norway is a subsidiary of Wintershall in Germany, which is the largest German oil company, owned by the world's largest chemicals producer BASF. How important is small Norway for this giant company?
- It is quite important for our parent company BASF. They have well over 100,000 employees worldwide. In Wintershall worldwide we are 2500, but we are responsible for a large part of the earnings of the Group.
There is a lot of talk about costs in the industry right now. How do you see it? How will you cope with that?
That's right and it is an important focus for us as an industry, because the costs have become too large on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. That said, we are in a growth phase and it is not easy to have both cost reductions and growth at the same time, but we are obviously keen to have the lowest costs possible and produce as much as possible. That's how we earn money. Low costs and high production. We are together in the industry, both operators, partners and suppliers to achieve this in Norway.
What do you think about Northern Areas then? That's also a recurring theme here [in the studio].
- The North is very exciting for us. We started out in the North Sea, then we moved to Haltenbanken, and then further to the north we end up in the Barents Sea. If more discoveries are made, it's just to move on.