BISMARCK - A delegation of top state and local officials, legislators, education, business and non-profit leaders will travel to Norway on Saturday to learn about Norway's energy system.
The delegation will to lay the groundwork for cooperation on fossil and renewable energy development, technology demonstration and investment to help foster new energy opportunities between the energy-rich country and North Dakota.
The delegation will be hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, private companies Statoil and Borregaard, and a number of academic,
research and nongovernmental organizations.
The Great Plains Institute, along with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is organizing the delegation.
The 18 delegates will be comprised of representatives from state government, higher education and research, and nongovernmental organizations including Doug Goehring, N.D. Agriculture commissioner; Wayne Stenehjem, N.D. attorney general; Gene Veeder, Watford City, executive director of McKenzie County Jobs Development Authority; Eric Hardmeyer, president and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota in Bismarck; Diane Stockdill, manager of Plant Services for Great River Energy in Underwood; Larry Skogen, president of Bismarck State College; Rep. Shirley Meyer, D-Dickinson, and Sen. Lonnie Laffen, R-Grand Forks.
Norway ranks as the world's second largest sovereign investor through its global Government Pension Fund, which manages over US$600 billion on behalf of the Norwegian people. Statoil, Norway's national oil company, which counts the state as its largest shareholder, recently made a US$ 4.4 billion investment in Brigham Resources and its operations in North Dakota's vast Bakken oil formation.
The delegation will leave North Dakota on Saturday and return June 9.
Funding from charitable foundations and participating private companies will help underwrite the costs of organizing the visit and supporting travel of some non-industry delegation participants.