“Norway’s oil sector is very good at what I call safety. So the same resources can be used for security,” Kristoffersen observed when he took part in the Top Executive Conference staged by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) on 25 October.

He emphasised that collaboration has been very good, and gave all credit to the industry for this.

No direct threat now

Kristoffersen also made it clear that Norway faces no imminent threat of a military attack at present.

“The whole of Europe is more dependent on Norwegian energy and gas, and wants to escape dependence on Russian energy,” he emphasised. “That means, of course, that Norway is relatively much more important for Europe.

“Don’t forget that this could be a means of creating even more uncertainty if, for example, any doubts should arise about our ability to deliver secure energy supplies to Europe. It would also be very difficult for the European countries. In that respect, Norway has become a more exposed target.”

Stay calm

“If any state is behind what’s happening with drone flights and Nord Stream 1 and 2, it’s precisely to create uncertainty and turmoil, and that requires that we try to keep our nerve,” Kristoffersen said.

“’Keep calm and carry on,’ the British said in World War II. And I think that’s also important for us now, so we manage to distinguish between all the turmoil facing us and separate out its components.”

Not naive

He emphasised that Norway has never been naive and unreservedly trusted Russia. It had monitored the Russians in intelligence and security terms.

“Putin has completely lost his status as someone we can trust – if we’ve ever done that,” Kristoffersen observed. “But building a relationship with Russia when the war is over will be important.

“Norway won’t be finished with Russia. We’re its neighbour. We have a common frontier in the far north. We have a tradition of finding solutions in fishing and resource management.

“The Ukraine war will be over one day. I see no military solution right now, but I believe that, at one time or another, a form of negotiations will mean the war ends. And we must then determine how we are going to re-establish a relationship with Russia.”

See the link to the full interview with Eirik Kristoffersen at the head of this article.