Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, as the 14th World Petroleum Congress is coming to an end I have the pleasure and the honour to address you on behalf of the Norwegian National Committee for the World Petroleum Congresses, being the local family member of this great family.
The planning of this Congress started autumn 1986 when the National Committee approached central and local authorities with the idea of hosting the 14th Congress in Norway. We were met by overwhelming support. The initial concept was presented to the Executive Board of the World Petroleum Congresses in Houston, May 1987, by the Norwegian Minister for Oil and Energy Mr. Arne 0ien and the Mayor of Stavanger Mrs. Kari Thu.
Then followed four years of national planning and international marketing. Stavanger was finally awarded the 14th Congress at the 13th Congress meeting in Buenos Aires, October 1991. The Minister for Oil and Energy at that time, Mr. Finn Kristensen and I accepted the WPC-flag on behalf of Norway.
The first milestone had been achieved.
In December 1991 Mr. Harald Norvik, President and CEO of Statoil, accepted the important task of being the Chairman of the Norwegian Organising Committee. This Committee, comprising leading representatives of business and government, was established in January, 1992. The second milestone had been reached.
The detailed planning then got underway by the Norwegian Organising Committee and its Congress Secretariat, and now-850 days and nights later-we have come to the end of a lot of hard work, but made rewarding in the sense of seeing a successful Congress come through. The third and final milestone has been achieved.
Clearly a Congress like this requires the utmost in national, regional and local goodwill and support, a tremendous amount of dedicated work by a great many people, and-at times+fforts that go far beyond the normal call of duty.
At this time the Norwegian National Committee would like to direct its warmest gratitude to three central pillars of this Congress arrangement: the Norwegian Government through the Prime Minister and several successive Ministers for oil and energy, the Norwegian Organising Committee and its fantastic Secretariat through its Chairman, Mr. Harald Norvik, Vice Chairman Knut Am and Secretary General Jostein Mykletun, and the City of Stavanger, through the Mayor, Mr. Leif Måsvær. The achievements made are most impressive, as we all have witnessed.
Our thanks are also extended to delegates and the accompanying persons from all over the world, for making this Congress so full of life and excitement.
Forever we will treasure the friendship and warmth we have experienced during these days in Stavanger.
Finally, as we're shortly going to witness the handover of the WPC flag, the Norwegian National Committee uses this memorable occasion to wish China all the best.
Another link in the long chain of World Petrolium Congresses is created.
Thank you, all friends of the World Petroleum Congresses. 25 C