Stavanger is Norway's fourth largest city, and is rightly called the petroleum Capital of Norway. The sea has always been at the heart of Stavanger's development. Most working people have been employed in connection with the sea, either as mariners or fishermen.
From 1880 up to the First World War Stavanger established a place as an industrial centre. The key to its growth was the canning industry, producing brisling and other packed fish, until as recently as 1960.
The demise of the canning industry was a painful process for Stavanger. It was an auspicious moment then, when in 1969 an oil strike was reported in the North Sea. This discovery started a new commercial era in the city. The oil industry brought multinational oil majors to Stavanger where they set up their local offices
Stavanger's place in the international oil scene is reaffirmed every other year when the Offshore Northern Sea convention is held with participants from all corners of the world.
The oil industry has also helped promote Stavanger's place as a modern centre of education and research. The local Rogaland University Centre offers science degrees for petroleum technologists. Petroleum engineers of all nationalities graduate there and the centre has become a well reputed international college.
The arrival of oil in Stavanger also paved the way for the Rogaland Research institute. This institute is today an important centre for further work on the development of oil and gas technologies.
In this business, knowledge is power. The growth of the oil industry in Stavanger provides clear historical evidence of that. Now it is up to us to apply that lesson and prepare for tomorrow.