ONS 2020: French energy companies will be important to the rapid scale up of renewables

The theme for ONS 2020 is « Together », highlighting the need for united actions across industries and countries to secure energy production, supplies and at the same time contributing to stopping climate change.

                                                Leif Johan Sevland, President and CEO at ONS


Leif Johan Sevland is today's President and CEO of the Offshore Northern Seas Foundation (ONS). Between 1995 and 2011, he was the Mayor of the City of Stavanger and is to date honorary consul of France in Stavanger. 

In 2020, the ONS forum will be themed "Together" and put an emphasis on cross-industry and cross-country cooperation to foster innovative projects in the energy sector. The CCFN shares the ONS's vision and believes in the potential of cross-industry projects to set a faster pace towards a successful energy transition. 

In this exclusive interview, Leif Johan Sevland reminds that France and Norway have long traditions for cooperation in the energy sector and invites French energy companies to come to Stavanger from August 31st to September 3rd, 2020.

Read the interview and get to know why energy companies should attend the 2020 ONS exhibition.   




Mr. Sevland, as the President and CEO of ONS, you are an enlightened observer and central actor of the energy industry. How would you describe the transition that this industry is going through, especially in Norway?

Leif Johan Sevland: Norway, and especially Stavanger, have through history been through big changes and transition times. We were a nation of fishery and shipping, and a city built on the hermetic industry. In the 60's, we became an oil and gas nation and Stavanger went through a massive transition, re-building its fishing industry towards the oil and gas industry.

Again we stand in the midst of a transition. In ONS, we have seen the transition coming during the last decade. Since 2008, renewable energies have grown to take a larger portion of each ONS event. The oil and gas is clearly the largest industry in Norway in every way, but we see that a lot of our exhibitors and visitors turn towards renewable energies. 


How is ONS shifting to adapt this rapid evolution?

Leif Johan Sevland: We were recently out in media stating that ONS wants to become the largest meeting place for offshore wind and renewables, in addition to oil and gas. There are huge business opportunities within offshore wind, and especially oil and gas companies are fit for this market. ONS has always said that it wants to build a bridge between oil and gas and renewables. We aim to fulfil this mission, scaling up our Renewable Markets arena. We will cover everything from offshore wind, hydrogen, CCS & CCSU to solar power.  


Where do you see a potential for increased cooperation in the Energy sector between France and Norway?

Leif Johan Sevland: France and Norway have long traditions for cooperation, from academia to energy. The so-called “Troll- agreement” of 1986 consisting of gas supplies from the Norwegian Troll-field to France was an agreement of French-Norwegian cooperation about industry and technology. In reality, it also included education, research, and culture. This amazing technological development and energy cooperation is important for both parts and something I believe will increase in importance. French energy companies have been vital to the development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Now, they will be equally important to the rapid scale up of renewables, both in Norway and France. I am impressed with how France is taking action on energy transition, both through policy and concrete solutions.


The French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce is actively working to foster innovation, connecting the Norwegian energy and maritime industries with the French Aerospace, relevant companies and organisations, for cross-fertilisation projects. In which areas do you see the biggest potential for such cooperation? Is ONS a relevant arena to explore cross-industry collaboration?

Leif Johan Sevland: ONS has showcased technology transfer between the oil and gas industry to other industries for over a decade. Through the ONS history, we have chosen themes to help set the agenda for the ONS Conference. Several of our themes have in the last ten years been in relation with cross-industry collaboration, such as « Changes », « Transition » and « Innovate ». The theme for ONS 2020 is « Together », highlighting the need for united actions across industries and countries to secure energy production, supplies and at the same time contributing to stopping climate change. We believe that collaboration is the key, both technologically but also politically.


Which message would you deliver to French companies hesitating to come to Stavanger next year and participate in ONS 2020?

Leif Johan Sevland: ONS is the international leading energy meeting place. The world is coming to Stavanger during ONS. If you want to contribute to shape and discover the latest innovations, and make business in the new energy future, you should be there. In addition, I encourage all French energy companies, both suppliers and operators, to apply for our Technical Session challenges and Innovation Award. Both arenas give unique opportunities of showcasing your technology.



Find more information about the exhibition on the official page of the ONS foundation and on our website.

Interested in attending the 2020 ONS forum?

You are a French company and would like to take part in the 2020 edition of the ONS exhibition? Please, contact Ludovic Caubet, Managing Director of the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce at caubet(@) and go to our event page for more information.

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