OTC brings Norwegian royalty to Houston

Norway's Prince Haakon meets with Texas Gov Rick Perry

HOUSTON - The Offshore Technology Conference 2013 brought Norwegian royalty to Houston on Monday.

Prince Haakon met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry to promote Norwegian technology companies. Oil and gas accounts for about one-third of Norway's economy.

"Houston, being the center of the oil and gas business of the world, is actually the place where we have the most Norwegian expats outside of Scandinavia. We have 10,000 people working here," said Prince Haakon. "We have 150 companies that are centered here."

The event regularly brings about 90,000 engineers and scientists from 46 countries.

There are 2,500 companies trotting out their newest wares at the show. Houston's Baker Hughes is marketing a new, faster way to install well casing. It's taken Muntasar Mohammad and his team four years and tens of millions of dollars to develop it.

"OTC is giving us the opportunity because we are talking to global operators," said Mohammad.

Perry joined the governors of five other oil states and called for opening up more of U.S. coastal waters to exploration.

"States need to be given freedom to expand areas of exploration and a way to work with energy industry to develop the resources we have on hand," said Perry.

The conference ends Thursday.

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