Oil became a life saver

The Norwegian seas and oceans have always been an eldorado for fishermen of all types, and Stavanger has always been an important port to the sea. But when the fishing industry disappeared, oil became a life saver. The oil industry provided an interesting partial solution to the growing problem in remote sections of Norway where work had declined.

Stavanger`s population has certainly learned to use the North Sea as an economic resource, just consider the herring and the shipping eras. Early in the `60s the international oil industry saw their task: if they were to maintain their position as the worlds most important energy supplier, they must then move off the land and into the sea. In a town so marked by the oil Industry as Stavanger, you frequently hear children say: "My dad is in oil".

Stavanger`s industry has always determined its standard of living. In a depressed economy all society suffers. In the course of Stavanger`s 900-year history, Stavanger has enjoyed some short periods of boom conditions. Stavanger has never before experienced an upward swing such as that past 30 years. The main reason for its growth is to be found in oil industry related business activity. Oil became an industrial Cinderella.

And after 30 years of oil and gas exploration, its been a proven deposit of 5 billion tons of oil equivalents in the North Sea, enough for Norways use for 400 years. Ancient Norce mythology tells us that Odin`s horse, Sleipner, had eight legs. Since the Sleipner platform disappeared in the fjord, eight legs - in keeping with the myth - were necessary for its namesake to function. Sleipner started up production in 1993. Gas is landed at Zeebrugge in Belgium. The Troll platform will stand at 303 meters depth and measure 403 meters from its lowest point to the flame tower. Production is scheduled to start in 1996.

Michael Holmboe Meyers history-guide of Stavanger.