Gullkronen 2017 Winners

February 1, 2017

Honour Award

The winner: Farouk Al-Kasim

Jarand Rystad, Rystad Energy; Farouk Al-Kasim; Helge Keilen, Offshore Media Group

Jury's Reasoning: 

This year’s winner has been a key contributor to the enormous value creation from the Norwegian Continental Shelf as a whole. Farouk has been able to transform scientific insights from his professional field of expertise into management principles for the broader industry and even developing measures that enables the government to instruct companies to comply with these principles – for the best of the broader society.  Thus, this geologist, educated in London, has been the key driver behind resource management principles.


One key element has been to maintain reservoir energy through gas injection and water injection. From his position as the first Director of Resources Management in Oljedirektoratet he relentlessly pushed companies to choose recovery strategies that gave maximum recovery, often including hard fights with companies that did not share the same long term perspective.  Most of these fights were won, like the Troll Oil zone and Oseberg gas injection.


Iraqi born prize winner – not only Gullkronen but also St.Olavs and ONS prize of honour - came to Norway in 1968 with his Norwegian wife and a son that needed medical treatment as he was given up by Iraqi doctors.  Being here, with his oil background, he passed by Industridepartementet and asked for tip for an oil job.  He was then immediately hired to assess the Cod find and then further advanced his position, basically building up resource management in OD from the ground.  Since 1990 he has also shared the Norwegian resource management experience globally.  Thus, the winner is – Farouk Al-Kasim.


E&P Award

Explorer of the Year

The four nominees: Aker BP, ENGIE E&P Norge, Faroe Petroleum, Total E&P Norge

The winner: Faroe Petroleum

Nils-Henrik Bjurstrøm, Rystad Energy; Elisabeth Femsteinevik, Hilde Salthe, Faroe Petroleum; Roar Tessem, Hitech Vision

Jury's Reasoning:

2016 was another year with overall exploration results well below average. However, discovered resources increased by 44% compared to 2015, despite a 12% reduction in number of wellbores drilled.


The winner made one of the four largest discoveries on the NCS last year, contributing with important additional resources to the most likely tie-back host and with further exploration potential in the area.


Through cost-effective exploration and great support from license partner Point Resources, the Sognefjord formation was proven to contain significant resources that will be further explored this year.


E&P Award

Business Developer of the Year

The four nominees: Aker BP, Faroe Petroleum, Lundin, Statoil

The winner: Aker BP

Thina Saltvedt, Nordea; Ifor Roberts, Karl Ludvig Heskestad, Håkon Høgetveit, Joachim Bjørni, Aker BP; Arne Gulbrandsen, Rystad Energy

Jury's reasoning:

2016 was a year of high Business Development activity with several players exiting the NCS, providing opportunities for the ones who dare. The four nominees have demonstrated ability to focus on strategic development, utilizing a market characterized by both bargains and uncertain opportunities.

The winner has displayed stamina in deal planning and execution, impressive portfolio management and value creation. Despite years of remarkable business development efforts, the winner has, yet again, managed to surpass its previous efforts and is now on the trajectory to become the NCS' second largest operator.


E&P Award

Project Developer of the Year

The four nominees: Aker BP (Ivar Aasen), Statoil (Gina Krog), Statoil (Johan Sverdrup), Wintershall (Maria)

The winner: Aker BP (Ivar Aasen)

Knud Nørve, Infragas; Bård Atle Hovd, Geir W. Hjelmeland, Aker BP; Markus Nævestad, Rystad Energy

Jury's reasoning:

After a massive wave of PDOs from 2010 to 2013 with 27 PDOs approved, 2014 to 2016 only saw 10 new projects being sanctioned. Nevertheless, NCS stands out in a global context with investments in new fields still at a historical high level – more than 50 billion NOK invested in new fields in both 2015 and 2016.


It has without a doubt been fierce competition for this year’s award, with new operators making their way up the value chain and competing with the usual suspects at the NCS. We have seen new concepts being matured, innovative solutions optimizing the use of existing infrastructure, and cross-license cooperation with a target of maximizing profit.


This year’s winner stands out with hands-on project execution, delivering on budget and proving most experts wrong – and on the way has set a new NCS standard in terms of drilling efficiency. Giving its owners the perfect Christmas gift, the field started producing on time on Christmas eve. 


E&P Award

Field Operator of the Year

The four nominees: ExxonMobil (Balder), Statoil (Heidrun), Statoil (Oseberg), Wintershall (Brage)

The winner: Statoil (Heidrun)

Jon Marsh Duesund, Rystad Energy; Ola Olsvik, Morten Gjønnes, Unni Ghislaine Sunnset, Statoil; Anne Knausgård, Norwegian Petroleum Association

Jury's reasoning:

This operator built on a good 2015 to deliver an even better 2016 with improved performance across the board; significant growth in oil production, increased drilling activity, steady reserve increase and highly successful cost reduction measures.


The winner has demonstrated excellent execution to reach ambitious goals, all while maintaining a high HSE standard and production efficiency above 95% and topping it off by smashing the original drilling budget!


Oilfield Service Award

New Venture of the Year

The four nominees: HydraWell Intervention, Red Rock, Resoptima, Vision iO

The winner: HydraWell Intervention

Erik Holm Reiso, Rystad Energy; Morten Myhre, Arne Larsen, HydraWell Intervention; Ole Lindefjeld, ConocoPhillips

Jury's reasoning:

The current downturn doesn’t stop new companies popping up with ideas for improved operations and cost saving alternatives. The four nominees are all outstanding examples and on their way to making good businesses and creating new jobs, even now.


The winner has applied a new and innovative approach to a wellknown operation, which they simplify and that significantly reduce costThe technology is applied at the core of oil and gas operations – in the well.


The winner has found a smart way to remove cement and plug wells in a single run, minimizing the hang-over (cost) after the party. 


Already established in the North Sea and Middle East markets, and with a large backlog of wells to be plugged the winner is going to have a lot to do.


Oilfield Service Award

Globetrotter of the Year

The four nominees: Calora Subsea, Petroleum Technology Company, RESMAN, Wellcem

The winner: Petroleum Technology Company

Jon Fredrik Muller, Rystad Energy; Erling Kleppa, PTC; Sjur Bratland, INTSOK

Jury's reasoning:

2016 has proven to be another challenging year for oil service companies exposed to the international market. However, all of our four nominees have been able to tackle the harsh conditions.


The winner has over time built a successful business abroad, with recent contract awards in the important North American and Middle East markets.


The company is pro-active in pursuing new opportunities, and during the downturn they have taken technological steps that better position themselves to enter new businesses.


With headquarters in Norway, the international market still represents more than 70% of business, making this company a true globetrotter. 


Oilfield Service Award

Business Success of the Year

The three nominees:  ABB Norway, Aibel, Odfjell Drilling

The winner: Odfjell Drilling

Silje Grønning, Rystad Energy; Stig Waage, Odfjell Drilling; Morten Wiencke, IEA

Jury's reasoning: 

It is no secret that the we are in the midst of unparalleled market havoc at a scale the industry has never witnessed before. In fact, these times are so challenging that the jury only found three nominees this year. But our three nominees all are stars, and choosing between the three was like choosing which finger you want to keep.


Still, our winner has showed that making risky, hard decisions at the right time may turn out to highly valuable. Our top pick has also showed that being at the forefront of technology application pays the long run, as safety and efficiency is improved.


In this market it is almost a miracle to present the Business Success Award to what must be the only company in the world in its segment that has contracts on all of its assets.

* All pictures taken by Jon Skille Amundsen,