Discovery of the Ekofisk reservoir in 1969 was when the Norwegian oil adventure really began. Production from the field started on the 15th of June 1971 (same year as the first man walked on the Moon).
You might ask what this has to do with colourful autumn, but for sure it is important to understand the Norwegian society; our history, culture and habits (the theme of my blog), not to forget why Norway is so well off (e.g. less than 3% unemployment) when the rest of Europe is in financial crises.
Well, it is because I had another quality time with my wife some weeks ago. You know we love outdoors recreation and also photo hunting and since I wanted to show you the result, I was thinking I could combine it with something to learn from this post too. You see, this was what caught my eye (a huge cone):
This roller-cone bit (petrol) is an oil drill bit type that consists of a head with three conical rollers with tags. When the drill string is rotated, rolling wheels on the bottom of the hole and break the rocks. The drilling mud flows at high speed out between the wheels and removes the cut material. This example is on display outside the Maritime Museum on Bygdøy Island since it is used for off shore drilling of course.
So while I fill you in with our Oil Adventure; enjoy our quality time story and of course the pics:
Foreign companies dominated exploration off Norway in the initial phase, and were responsible for developing the country’s first oil and gas fields. However, Statoil (The Norwegian State’s Company) was founded in 1972, and the principle of 50 percent state participation in each production license was established.
The Social Democratic Model:
The billions that came from the oil in the North Sea should be used to give the people a better life. In 1974, the government decided for a Qualitatively Better Society; Those who live in rural areas should be prioritized, and culture should receive funding as well. Oil money would simply be used for all, in such a way that everyone had benefited from them. The easiest way to do this is by spending a large part through the State Budget.
Today, much of this is done and Norway has more money than ever before. You see, The Government Petroleum Fund was created in 1990, and receives revenues from our oil and gas business. The Fund is the Norwegian people’s money and today it means that every Norwegian has about $ 80,000 or € 60,000 “in the bank”. What many people wonder about is why don’t we just take the money and get rich together. Of course it’s not that simple – we want to ensure the future generations too. Once you get a recession and when it is wise to have money in reserve so that we can ensure good welfare for all, that is to say that we still have public health care, free education e.g.
Bygdøy Maritime Museum and Royal Estate:
In spite of more than 40 years of production, only around 40 percent of the total expected resources have been produced. Norwegian oil production has remained at plateau level of about 3 million barrels per day since 1995.
But let’s go back to our quality time, the photos and fall: The pics are taken at the Bygdøy Island close to The Maritime Museum. It’s situated near several other museums, including the Fram Museum; the Kon-Tiki Museum; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and the Viking Ship Museum. Norwegians have a long history as sailors you know (the oldest boat found in Norway is 7 000 years old). I let this photo with the old anchor stand as an evidence : -)
Bygdøy Island is only 20 min by boat or buss from down town Oslo and is a popular place for outdoor recreation – no wonder when you get from the urban stressful life to this rural natural beauty in a few minutes. The Royal family was thinking the same (long time ago):
At the end of the thirteenth century, Bygdøy was purchased by King Haakon V of Norway as a gift for his wife, Queen Euphemia of Rügen. Their daughter, Ingeborg of Norway, later returned the island to the monastery. It was acquired by the king during the Protestant Reformation to supply Akershus Fortress and garrison. The King would also use the estate for hunting and a hunting lodge. A zoological garden was set up by King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway.
The current main building was erected in 1733 as a summer residence for Danish official and Governor of Norway, Christian Rantzau (1684-1771). King Christian Frederick lived on the estate in 1814 after he was forced to give up the throne before he left for Denmark. Kings Haakon VII and Olav V also used the estate as a summer residence.
A comprehensive restoration of the main building and gardens began in 2004. The buildings and gardens have undergone extensive refurbishments and the estate is again set to be the regular summer residence of Harald V and Queen Sonja.
We passed this Royal Residence on our way to the Museums and since photo hunting for fall colors, I took some here too. I hope you like them as well as the stories about Norway and our history as well. You see, that’s actually the aim of my blog and I love to combine it reporting from quality times with my beloved wife!