On Bauer Business Focus—A conversation about the 4th annual Houston Shipping and Offshore Conference with Houston Public Media News 88.7 Business Reporter Andrew Schneider.
As the U. S. oil and gas industry continues to generate billions, leaders from the world’s top energy countries seek partnerships and support in Houston. Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Jostein Mykletun, recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss how the Houston Shipping and Offshore Conference bolsters international energy partnerships locally.
The fourth annual Houston Shipping and Offshore Conference (HSOC) on Oct. 10 is organized by the Consulates General of Brazil, Korea and Norway, who work together with U.S. partners in Houston. Norway has three stateside consulates in New York, San Francisco and Houston, the latter of which covers 10 states including all along the Gulf Coast to Florida.
“The principle reason why we’re [Norway] here has to do with energy, oil and gas, and we’d like to be where the action is,” Mykletun said. “Norway is a major energy player worldwide and Houston is the energy hub of the world. It makes sense for us to be here.”
According to Mykletun, there are a total of 200 Norway related companies in Houston, many having to do with the offshore supply business. Norway’s biggest company, Statoil, is the 55th largest in the world with all operations in North America, including Canada and Alaska, run from Houston. He says one key topic at the conference will be the funding gap in shipping and offshore. Specifically, how the exit from the industry of several traditional shipping and offshore lenders will impact future funding sources.
“Finance is a theme throughout the conference because finance is a big element in both shipping and offshore,” Mykletun said. “It fluxes over time. Right now shipping is struggling a bit worldwide, while the offshore and oil industry at large is doing on the whole very well. It’s important for us to point that out because most of our companies operate offshore.”