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Strategic and operative managment

Strategic management

Ingrid Sølvberg
Director general

Born: 1970
Education: Civil Engineer (Siv.ing.) marine technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (1994).

Experience: Ms Sølvberg assumed the position as director general in January 2020. Prior to that, she was director of development and operation from June 2014. She started her career in Statoil (now Equinor) in 1995 as a subsea engineer and took up her first management position in 2004. Sølvberg has held a number of management positions and, among other things, was director for platform technology and marine surveys in the period from 2007-2010, and then HSE director for midstream and downstream activity in Equinor. She moved to Centrica in 2012 as commercial manager before becoming director for the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea in 2013 at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. She has held positions on the boards of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) and the Ship Manouvering Simulator Center (SMSC).

Kirsti Veggeland
Director data management and organisation

Born: 1960

Education: Master of Science (1985), Doctor of Science (1994) – Physical chemistry, University of Bergen.

Experience: Ms Veggeland was hired as assistant director in November 2014. She started working in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in 1995, and started her first management position in 1998 as part of the Resource Division’s management team. She was also part of the management in the period from 2004 to 2008. She started her career as a scientist in the International Research Institute of Stavanger, where she worked for ten years. From about 2015, Veggeland will be a member of the programme board for DEMO2000 and a member of the faculty board for the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Stavanger.

Kjell Agnar Dragvik
Director analyses and framework

Born: 1958

Education: Candidatus rerum politicarum (equivalent to Master’s in Philosophy) – Political science, University of Oslo (1988).

Experience: Mr Dragvik has a background from Statistics Norway and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. He has worked here since 1997, where he has e.g. worked on shelf prognoses, projects linked to development and operations, economic value estimates of production licenses and field developments. Dragvik was a manager during the period from 2004 to 2011. After one year as a project manager in Gassco, he was hired by the directorate in the autumn of 2014 as director of analysis and framework.

Torgeir Stordal
Director exploration

Born: 1962

Education: Master of Science, geophysics, University of Bergen (1987).

Experience: Mr Stordal was hired as the Exploration Director in 2017. He began his career in Shell as a geophysicist in 1989, and started his first management position in 1999. Stordal has held numerous management positions within exploration, including as exploration manager in Norske Shell during the period 2009-2013. From 2013-2017, he had a global role within resource evaluation at Shell’s headquarters in the Netherlands. He has also held positions of trust in the Norwegian Petroleum Society and Norwegian Oil and Gas.

Kalmar Ildstad
Director development and operations

Born: 1963

Education: Master of Science, physics and technical economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Experience: Mr Ildstad joined the management team as director for fields and discoveries in 2006. He has held a number of positions in the directorate since joining it in 1989.


Operative management

Oddny Svendsen
Assistant director HR and communication

Born: 1970

Education: Master of Science, geology, University of Tromsø (1997).

Experience: Svendsen was hired as assistant director for HR and communication in September 2018. She has worked as a geologist on several projects in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate since 1997.

Torhild Nilsen
Assistant director framework and finances

Born: 1968

Education: Cand.jur. Master of Laws, University of Bergen (1996).

Experience: Ms Nilsen joined the management team in April 2017. She started her work in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in 2008. As legal adviser, she has had a wide range of tasks in the organisation, including as coordinator for the lawyers on staff, and coordinator for NPD Regulatory Development. Prior to taking up her position in the directorate, Torhild worked as a private sector attorney.

Espen Andreas Hauge
Assistant director NCS analyses and international activities

Born: 1973

Education: Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration, NHH Norwegian School of Economics (2006).

Experience: Mr Hauge joined the management team in October 2017. He has previously worked in the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Norwegian Armed Forces. FrAbout 2013 to 2015, Hauge served as the Norwegian Energy Adviser to the OECD and IEA.


Stig-Morten Knutsen
Assistant director exploration

Born: 1964

Education: D.Sc. (1991) geology, University of Tromsø/Rice University, Houston B.Sc. in occupational and organizational psychology, University of Bergen.

Experience: Mr Knutsen has nearly 25 years of experience from Hydro, and completed both his Master’s and doctorate during this time. After a few years as a consultant, he was hired as exploration manager in Greenland’s national oil company, Nunaoil. Before being hired by the NPD in the autumn of 2014, Knutsen held management positions at the research institutions Roald Amundsen Petroleum Research and ARCEx in Tromsø.

Benvenutta Henriksen
Assistant director exploration

Born: 1956

Education: Cand. polit. Universities of Oslo and Bergen (1988).

Experience: Ms Henriksen joined the management team in May 2016. She started working in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in 1992, having been project manager for a trial within pricing of medical services in the Ministry of Social Affairs. She took up her first management position in the NPD in 1998, when she joined the management of the Resource Division. She has then held various positions, not least as discipline coordinator for petroleum economics and coordinator for exploration strategy.

Wenche Johansen
Assistant director exploration

Born: 1970

Education: Master of Science, geophysics, University of Bergen (1995).

Experience: Ms Johansen joined the management in November 2014. She comes frAbout a position as technical coordinator for geo-sciences. Johansen started working in the directorate in 2002 and previously worked for WesternGeco, Schlumberger.

Tove Francke
Assistant director development and operations – Norwegian Sea

Born: 1967

Education: Economics degree, University of Oslo (1995). Bachelor of Arts, Concordia College, USA (1989).

Experience: Ms Francke was appointed assistant director in November 2015. She joined the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in 2011. From 1996 until she came to the directorate, she worked in various positions at the Ministry of Finance.

Arvid Østhus
Assistant director development and operations – North Sea

Born: 1964

Education: Master of Science, reservoir technology, University of Stavanger (1989).

Experience: Mr Østhus has been with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate since 2014, and joined the management team in January 2017. From 1990 to 2014, he held both management and technical positions at Phillips Petroleum (now ConocoPhillips). Prior to this, he was employed by the Geoservices company for one year.

Niels Erik Hald
Assistant director development and operations – Barents Sea

Born: 1971

Education: Master of Science, materials technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology - NTNU (1995), Business administration - BI (2006).

Experience: Mr Hald was hired by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in 2014 and joined the management team in October 2017. He has experience from operations, procurement and projects in Norwegian industry, e.g. with Norsk Hydro during the period 2000-2006. Following a period with Subsea 7, he joined Statoil in 2008 and worked on Norwegian and international projects there. He has management experience from Norsk Hydro and Statoil.

Maria Juul
Assistant director digitalisation and data management

Born: 1965

Education: Master of Science, geology, Aarhus University, Denmark (1992).

Experience: Ms Juul started working for the NPD in 2012, and has coordinated Awards in Pre-Defined Areas (APA) for two years. Juul has spent much of her professional career working in the intersection between geosciences and ICT.


Image of Inger Lise Strømme
Inger Lise Strømme
Assistant director, security and continuity

Born: 1971

Education: IT degree, Oslo University College (1996).

Experience: Inger Lise Strømme joined the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s management team as assistant director for IT in 2018. She has held various management positions in the NPD over the last 15 years, at both the strategic and operative levels. Her prior experience is from information management and development tasks in the NPD and the Biblioteksentralen.


Updated: 27/08/2020