It was designed by the architectural firm of Lunde & Løvseth Arkitekter A/S and was opened on 20 May 1999. Seen from the sea the museum looks like a small oil platform. The unusual architecture has made the museum a landmark in the Port of Stavanger.
The museum was built in stone, glass and concrete and covers approx. 5,000 square meters. The museum focuses on offshore petroleum activity especially in the North Sea. The museum displays objects, films, photographs and other materials have been collected that document Norwegian oil and gas activities. The museum shows the technological development from the beginning of the Norwegian oil history in the mid-1960s, from the first North Sea drilling platforms, through steel and concrete platforms developed and built in Norway, to modern, flexible production ships and subsea systems.
Ekofisk – a Christmas present in 1969
Exploration for oil and gas in the Norwegian North Sea began at 08.20 on 19. july 1966, when Ocean Traveler spudded the first well in these waters. But wells were needed before the industry’s luck turned. Ekofisk was discovered in the late autumn of 1969, earning it the nickname „Norway’s Christmas present“ Regular oil production began from this field in 1971. Today, Norway ranks second only to Saudi Arabia among the world’s oil exporters.
About 25 000 people work on the Norwegian continental shelf in relation to oil and gas production, with some 3000-4000 employed on the installations at any one time. About 10 per cent of this workforce are women.
Norway had 42 fields producing in the North Sea and eight in the Norwegian Sea at 31 December 2005. Eighty nine fixed installations were in regular Operation then, while 21 had ceased production.
An offshore tour lasts normally 14 days, followed by four weeks of free time on land. After a 12-hour shift, most crew relax in the common rooms. They gather in the lounge for a chat, a read of the papers, a game of cards, a smoke and a cup of coffee. The latest newspapers from all over Norway, and particularly the local press are important for welfare on board.
Crew employed on deck or in the process facilities keep their work garments and personal protective gear in the changing room. The job calls for protective goggles, gloves and boots, ear protectors, hard hats and flame-retardant clothes, Personnel also have to wear safety harnesses and lifejackets when working up high or over water. During hot work, such as welding, the areas involved must be free of gas or other easily-combustible substances.
The catering department is responsible for the changing rooms and for cleaning the living quarters. But keeping things clean and tidy is not the only element in a good working environment. Strict rules on hygiene aim to avoid outbreaks of illness – food poisoning, for instance – which could at worst mean a production shut-down.
Source: Wikipedia / Information board on site