The image is The Dream of Peace by Henrik Sørensen, 1939:

© Henrik Sørensen / BONO

Resource Management 2020 and 2021

Added 220412

Course on thNational Management of Petroleum Resources (9th to 26th of November 2021)

How Norway is managing their petroleum industry as a regulator

On-Line Version

 A decommissioned jacket with Europe’s largest rich gas terminal at Kårstø, Norway in the background. (Photo by Sigurd Heiberg, May 2019)

Programme information


Petronas requested Petrad to design and execute an online course over five full days or 10 half days on the way Norway is managing its petroleum industry as a regulator for the management echelons in Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) and as exposure to other Petronas fraternity from different departments. The intent was to enhance petroleum management in Malaysia.

The online version involved contributors and participants both in Malaysia and Norway.

Considering the time differences, the course runs for 10 half days on the 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th of November. The course is executed by Petronavit a.s in accordance with the PETRAD traditions.

Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) is entrusted to act for and on behalf of PETRONAS in the overall management of Malaysia’s petroleum resources throughout the lifecycle of upstream oil and gas assets. MPM is the governing body for the country’s petroleum development since PETRONAS was established in 1974. Detailed information is available on Overview | Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) (

Building on the PETRAD traditions

PETRAD was the Norwegian foundation for capacity development for national management of petroleum resources. Petrad has provided courses and other events building on Norwegian and international insights in the management of oil and gas in cooperation with others, in this case with the firm Petronavit a.s and members of its faculty.   

Petrad has provided courses by agreement with a single client, and other courses that were open to individual registration. The course described in this document is designed for Petronas.

Petrad’s courses and other services have been based on the following values and fundamental assumptions concerning the management of petroleum resources.

  1. Petroleum resources can and should be converted to lasting benefits for the host nation.
  2. Petroleum resources are best managed in a framework which includes national authorities as well as commercial enterprises, each having distinct and essential roles.
  3. People’s health, safety and the natural environment are values in their own right, which must be protected from the potentially harmful effects of petroleum operations.
  4. Petroleum operations can never be absolutely risk free, but risks can and should be kept at low levels through systematic identification and management.
  5. Education and competence are required for safe and sustainable petroleum development.
  6. Corruption is unacceptable.

This course was designed by Petrad before the decision was taken to close Petrad down, causing it to no longer be able to be associated with the course. Petronavit who assisted Petrad in preparing the course ensured its execution as planned and agreed with Petronas. Petronavit a.s was the administrator for this course.

Introduction to Petronavit a.s

The relevance of Petronavit a.s to this course comes from the Petronavit’s shared experience from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Equinor and Petrad. The firm has experienced how the Norwegian Continental Shelf is managed to secure an activity pattern that has prevented gas flaring, enhanced oil recovery rates to an average of nearly 50% reaching more than 70% in some of the largest field, kept a high standard with respect to HEES and secured a Government take above 80% while allowing industry partners and financial institutions to deploy their best capabilities[1].

Petronavit has furthermore a shared experience with the UNECE Intergovernmental Committee on Sustainable Energy having chaired both the Bureau of what is now its Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM)[2] and later the Bureau of the Committee[3] itself during the Rio+20 process leading up the UN SDGs. Currently its experts participate in the Advisory Board of the Pathways to Sustainable Energy  and the Net Zero GHG Emission projects[4][5] of the Committee, are chairing the EGRM Commercial Applications Working Group[6],[7], participates in its Communications Working Group, its Anthopogenic Resources Working Group, its Social and Environmental Considerations Working Group, its UN Resource Management System Subgroup and in its Technical Advisory Group. For this work an expression of gratitude was extended by the Sustainable Energy Subprogramme of the UNECE on the 22nd of September 2021. Petronavit also participates in the SPE committee planning its workshop on Digital Transformation.

For further information, see Petronavit A.S. – Resource management (

Why this course

In Norway, oil and gas resources in the ground belong to the nation and are converted to long lasting benefits for its citizens. Government and civil service have crucial tasks and responsibilities for enabling this transformation, which cannot be taken for granted. The course reviews the conditions and processes that let the country benefit from petroleum operations. This has required effective management of resource extraction for maximum value, protection of people and the environment from harm, and ensuring that the government receives and effectively manages its due share of revenues from petroleum.  

Petronas has requested that this course be arranged to provide an exposure for their operational management to the national petroleum resource management challenges of MPM.

Course objective and target audience  

The course aims to expand participants’ understanding of the requirements of Norway for managing the petroleum sector in terms of the context, process and content of effective resource management. Participants shall emerge from the course with a good understanding of how this is done.   

The course has been designed with consideration to participants who are experienced operational managers and administrators and who are faced with issues concerning national petroleum resource management.  In addition, the course will be relevant for politicians, civil servants, higher level educators, journalists and civil society representatives with professional interests related to national petroleum resource management who wish to learn how Norway has handled its petroleum industries.  

Participants should have university level education (Bachelor or higher) and 3 or more years of work experience related to the petroleum sector and/or public administration.

To be effective, web-based learning require a structured design with frequent pauses. Experience shows that the daily sessions should be limited to three to four hours. The current course outline answers these learnings. The course is planned with 20 lecture and discussion sessions and 9 group exercises.  

The programme for each day is planned with three modules, each module with two lecture sessions lasting for about one hour. The first part of the hour will in most cases present a topic orally supported by PowerPoint for 30 minutes. Thereafter 15 minutes are reserved for questions followed by a 15 minute break. Exercises build up to four group presentations to be made by the participants on the final day.  

Course content 

Course opening, welcomes and house-keeping issues.Sigurd Heiberg
Introduction by Petronavit a.s.Sigurd Heiberg
Exploration and production in Norway: An historical summaryBente Nyland
Governance and the legal, fiscal, and regulatory framework. 
Norway: Main elements of the petroleum regimeMette Gravdahl Agerup
The Petroleum law and Petroleum regulations.Mette Gravdahl Agerup
Survey licenses,  production licenses and associated agreementsMette Gravdahl Agerup
The Fiscal System and Revenue Management.Sigurd Heiberg
Exercise 1: Strategic organisation of national petroleum management functions. 
Preparing activities 
Preparation for licensing including strategic environmental assessments.Bente Nyland
LicensingMettte Gravdahl Agerup
Exercise 2: Regulating access to resources. 
Resource AssessmentPer Blystad
Building value through information and data managementBente Nyland
Exercise 3: Reducing the exploration risk. 
Development, production, alignment of interests and decommissioning 
DevelopmentMette Gravdahl Agerup
UnitizationMette Gravdahl Agerup
Exercise 5: Alignment of public-private interests. 
Enhancing value through strategic explorationBente Nyland
Preparing for efficient resource recovery.Sigurd Heiberg
Exercise 4: Improved recovery by enhancing wellhead values. 
Common infrastructure strategies.Sigurd Heiberg
DecommissioningMette Gravdahl Agerup
Exercise 6: Integrated exploration and production strategies. 
Internal Government functions 
Government planning.Per Blystad
Public capability development, research, education, gender and social issues.Bente Nyland / Per Blystad / Sigurd Heiberg
Exercise 7: Public capability development for efficient petroleum administration. 
Facing the climate challenge and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals 
Transformative changes of energy and mineral systems for a just energy transition.Sigurd Heiberg
Minimising green-house gas emissions including carbon capture, use and storage.Bente Nyland
Exercise 8: National resource management – prepare group presentations. 
Group presentationsBente Nyland / Mette Agerup / Per Blystad / Sigurd Heiberg
Public sector tasks and challenges. 
Efficient resource management. 
Private sector tasks and challenges. 
Adapting to the climate challenges and UN sustainable Development Goals after COP 26. 
Summary of the course and possible ways forward.all

The learning experiences

Lectures was provided by expert professionals with direct experience from key positions the Norwegian petroleum administration.   There were practices for participants working in small multi-discipline teams. As this course was intended for participants having significant experience from the sector, discussions and shared insights was a key component of the course.

A communication group on social media will be set up to facilitate communication between participants during and after the course. Petrad will stimulate continued learning and sharing of experience with and between participants after the course.

Recommended preparations

Participants are expected to be familiar with the main work processes of petroleum operations when coming for the course. Applicants will receive a list of recommended readings and other preparations for the course.

Administrator’s contact details 

Sigurd Heiberg  Chairperson Petronavit a.s  E-mail:  Tel : +47 97579731  Per Blystad  Consultant  E-mail:  Tel : +47 99365695  

Enclosure – Curriculum Vitae

Bente Nyland

Position:         Former Director General Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) (2007 -2019)

Present; Advisor to NPD. Independent from 1.10.2021

1984                University degree in geology, University of Oslo, Norway

1984 -1987     Exploration geologist Statoil (now Equinor). Specialised in basin modelling, organic geochemistry and prospect mapping

1987- 2000      Senior geologist and project manager in the exploration department (NPD)

2000 – 2004    Head of data, information, and knowledge department. Responsible for making data from the petroleum activity available for industry and public.

Develop and establish knowledge based integrated management plans for the shelf

Head of Administration, HR, and Communication

Exploration Manager

2004 – 2007    Exploration Manager

2007 – 2019    Director General


2002 – 2005    Member of technical advisory board Geological Survey of Norway

2004 – 2006     Board member OG21 (oil and gas in 21st century, Norwegian research council)

2007 – 2020     Member of the technical committee Offshore Northern Seas (ONS)

2007 – 2020     Board member University Fund, Rogaland

2009 – 2015     Board member Institute for Energy Technology (IFE)

2009 – 2016     Board member Norwegian Technical Institute (NGI) 

2005:               Oxford Energy Forum (OPEC – course)

2011/2014       World petroleum congress (WPC) invited speaker

2018:               CERA-week invited speaker

2008:               Member of the Norwegian Academy of Technology Science (NTVA)

2018:               ONS Distinguished Service Award 

2019                North American Chamber of Commerce Houston (NACC) Service Award

Mette Karine Gravdahl Agerup

Position:           Assistant Director General, deputy head of Legal Section, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Norway

1980:                  Law degree at Oslo University, Oslo – specialized in petroleum law

1981 – 1986:   Norwegian Maritime Directorate – legislation on petroleum safety and work environment

1986 – 1987:    Norwegian Guarantee Institute

1987 – 1990:    Ministry of Local Government and Regional Affairs – petroleum safety issues

1990 –                 Ministry of Petroleum and Energy:

                                          1990 – 1995:    Legal adviser in Explorations Division

1995 – 1996:  Ministry of Trade and Industry: Assistant Director General, Legal Section

1996 – 2002:    Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Senior legal adviser and deputy head, Legal Section

2002 – 2003:    Deputy Director General, Head of Legal Section

2003 –         :     Assistant Director General, deputy head of Legal Section

2010 – 2014:   Lecturer of Petroleum Law, University of Oslo (part time)

Areas of work comprise, among others:

  • Policy/legal issues concerning the Norwegian petroleum sector
  • Negotiation of cross-border delimitation/unitization treaties (Norway-UK, Norway-Iceland, Norway-Russian Federation) – focus on unitization and gas transportation issues
  • Legal issues related to carbon capture and storage
  • Follow-up on Norwegian/Russian energy dialogue
  • Policy/legal issues concerning petroleum activities in the Arctic/High North/Arctic Council/OSPAR
  • Norway’s foreign aid project Oil for Development: Advising/lecturing in certain developing countries on formulation of petroleum policy, legislation, administration and good governance and resource management
  • Legal issues related to trade in energy related services (WTO, EFTA, bilaterally)
  • Legal issues related to the EU/EEA and petroleum activities

Per Blystad

Position:        Independent. Member of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM) and its Communications Working Group.     

Per holds a Cand. Real (PhD) in geology from University of Bergen. After a few years working in a cross-disciplinary project connected to a huge hydro-electric development project in the south-western mountain area in Norway, the Ulla-Førre Investigations, he joined the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) for more than 30 years working on petroleum resource management and project management. His working experience includes exploration and licensing, annual reporting to government from companies in relation to the revised annual national budget, resource assessments and methodology development of yet-to-find potential of petroleum on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. He was engaged in developing NPDs database for petroleum prospects, important for overview and analyses of undiscovered petroleum potential.  For six years Per coordinated the international projects in NPD aiming at assisting countries in Asia and Africa to develop national petroleum resource management systems and capacities. These projects were financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). After this Per was seconded as project coordinator in Cooperating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) for two years in a project on Resource Evaluation and Planning. Per has been engaged in developing NPD’s petroleum resource classification system. In 2001 he joined what is now the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM). He has been member of the Bureau and chaired the Petroleum group until 2004. He later chaired the EGRM Mapping Task Force prior to and necessary for developing the generic UNFC-2009 classification. He is member of the EGRM and the EGRM Communications Working group.

Sigurd Heiberg

Position:             Chairperson, Petronavit a.s, Member of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management and advisor to selected UNECE Intergovernmental Committee on Sustainable Energy projects, Chairperson of its Commercial Applications Working Group, member of its UN Resource Management System Subgroup and, Anthropogenic  Resources Working Group, Social and Environmental Considerations Working Group and Technical Assistance Group.

1967:                  BSc Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

1969:                  SM, Geotechnology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1969:                  Research Engineer, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute

1973-1982:        NPD, Head of Reservoir Engineering, later Deputy director of resource management responsible for development and production.

1982-1984:        Petroleum exploration advisor to the Minister of water, energy and minerals, Tanzania.

1984-2013:        Statoil, now Equinor, various Project management positions, including in international business development, exploration and production forecasting and corporate strategy.

Relevant commissions:

1989-1993, 2006-2007 and 2013-2020: Project director, Petrad

2000-2001:        Chairperson, SPE Oil and Gas reserves Committee

2002-2009:        Chairperson of the Bureau what now is UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management

2009-2012:        Member and later Chairperson of the Bureau UNECE Intergovernmental Committee on Sustainable Energy.


[1] For details see