Thorleif Enger

Last updated
Thorleif Enger
Born (1943-10-31) 31 October 1943 (age 75)
Nationality Norway
Education PhD structural engineering
Alma mater University of Colorado
Occupation Businessperson
Employer Yara International, Norsk Hydro

Thorleif Enger (born 31 October 1943) is a Norwegian businessperson and was Chief Executive Officer of Yara International. [1] Enger was educated at the University of Colorado where he earned his PhD in Structural Engineering. He worked for Royal Dutch Shell until 1973, after which he moved to Norway to work for Norsk Hydro. He was director of the Oseberg oil field 1982–86, and from then until 1996 was president of the exploration and production division. He was then executive vice president of Hydro Oil and Gas until 1999, when he became executive vice president of Hydro Agri, and when this division was demerged to create Yara in 2004 he became its CEO. He announced his retirement in September 2008. [2] Enger has been president of the International Fertilizer Industry Association, [3] and has been a chairman or non-executive director of several boards, including Telenor, Spring Energy, HitecVision, and Marine Harvest. In 2010, Kapital named him one of the top ten business leaders in Norway after World War II. [4]

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

A businessman or businesswoman is a person involved in the business sector – in particular someone undertaking activities for the purpose of generating cash flow, sales, and revenue by utilizing a combination of human, financial, intellectual and physical capital with a view to fueling economic development and growth. An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses.

Yara International company

Yara International ASA is a Norwegian chemical company. Its largest business area is the production of nitrogen fertilizer, however it also encompasses the production of nitrates, ammonia, urea and other nitrogen-based chemicals.


Early life and education

Enger was born 31 October 1943. [5] He is the brother [6] of Ole Enger, former CEO of REC, and now chairman of REC Solar. [7] They grew up on a farm in Øvre Eiker. [8] Thorleif Enger earned his PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of Colorado. [9]


Enger was employed at Royal Dutch Shell’s Houston office from 1970 to 1973 where he worked on an LNG-project. [5]

Norsk Hydro Oil and Gas


Enger was selected to be asset manager for the giant Oseberg field in the North Sea which at the time was the largest offshore project in the world. [8] Oseberg was the first operatorship of Norsk Hydro. The project was completed within time and on budget. At its peak the production was 500,000 barrels per day. [10] This project was innovative in the sense that it used gas injection from Troll. Troll Oseberg Gas Injection (TOGI) was controversial, but it turned out to be a commercial and technical success. [11]

Head of Hydro Exploration and Production

Enger became head of Hydro Exploration and Production due to his handling of the Oseberg project. [8] He was head of E&P from 1987 to 1996. [12] During this period the Hydro Oil and Gas business increased substantially by adding a number of fields to its North Sea portfolio. Fields where Norsk Hydro was the operator included Oseberg, Brage, Njord, and Troll oil. During this period Norsk Hydro production operatorship went from zero to roughly 1 million barrels per day. The portfolio also included E&P activities in Russia, UK, Maghreb and Angola.

Head of Hydro Oil and Gas

Enger was head of Hydro Oil and Gas from 1996 to 1999. [12] NORSOK was an initiative made by the Norwegian government to tackle cost overruns on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It was led by Enger, and is considered[ by whom? ] to be successful although its ambitious targets were not fully met. [13]

Norsk Hydro Agri

Hydro Agri, the agricultural division of Norsk Hydro had for quite some time delivered unsatisfactory results and a turnaround operation was initiated in 1999 when Enger became head of the organization. During a 3-year period the business went through a big transition selling off non-core business, closing unprofitable plants and markets and reducing fixed costs and manning by more than 30%. [14]


Yara was spun out of Norsk Hydro and became a listed company in the spring of 2004. [15] Since then, the market capitalization of the company increased several fold reaching about 100 billion NOK and being one of the largest companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange. [16] Yara is one of the largest suppliers of fertilizer in the world with a presence on all continents. [17] [18] Enger resigned as CEO in 2008. [19]

Yara Prize

In 2005 the Yara Prize was initiated and awarded to people having made outstanding contributions to the development of Agriculture in Africa. This was highly appreciated and successful, and the Oslo award ceremonies and conferences in Oslo were attended by leading people in the field including the Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug, Jeffrey Sachs, Kofi Annan, as well as leading African politicians. [20]

After Yara

Enger was member of the Business Advisory Group to the Africa Progress Panel. [21]

Board memberships, awards, published books

Enger has been chairman of Telenor, Spring Energy, Agrinos, Green Energy Group, and Treka, and he has been a board member of HitecVision, FMC Technologies, Marine Harvest, Acergy, PGS, Kverneland, NGI, and the supervisory board of E.ON Ruhrgas. He was elected Norway’s SPE Oilman of the Year in 1996, [22] and selected by the business magazine Kapital in 2010 as one of the 10 best business leaders in Norway after World War II. [4] Enger’s book ”Det handler om å bli best” was published in 2012. [23]


In 2014, Enger was alongside two former colleagues in Yara charged with two counts of corruption. The case is unique in the sense that Enger has declared himself innocent whilst the company, Yara, has declared itself guilty. [24]

Personal life

Enger is married to an American [8] and has two children. [25]

Related Research Articles

Norsk Hydro Norwegian aluminum and renewable energy company

Norsk Hydro ASA is a Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company, headquartered in Oslo. It is one of the largest aluminium companies worldwide. It has operations in some 50 countries around the world and is active on all continents. The Norwegian state owns 34.3% of the company through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. A further 6.5% is owned by Folketrygdfond, which administers the Government Pension Fund of Norway. Norsk Hydro employs approximately 35,000 people. Hilde Merete Aasheim has been the CEO since May, 2019.

Oseberg oil field

Oseberg is an offshore oil field with a gas cap in the North Sea located 140 km (87 mi) northwest of the city of Bergen on the southwestern coast of Norway. The field, which is 25 km long by 7 km wide, was discovered in 1979 and its development is known to be one of the significant milestones in emergence of Norway's independent oil and gas industry. The Oseberg field was named after Oseberg ship, one of Norway's most significant archeological discoveries. The ancient Viking ship from the early 9th century was discovered in a 1904 historical excavation of a burial mound at the Oseberg Farm, south of Oslo.

Norway–European Union relations

The Kingdom of Norway is not a member state of the European Union (EU). It is associated with the Union through its membership in agreements in the European Economic Area (EEA) established in 1994, and by virtue of being a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which was founded in 1960, one of the two historically dominant western European trade blocs. Norway had considered joining the European Community and the European Union twice, but opted to decline following referenda in 1972 and 1994.

Eivind Kristofer Reiten is a Norwegian economist, corporate officer and politician for the Centre Party. He was a Minister of Fisheries and Minister of Petroleum and Energy during the 1980s, before entering a career in business. Reiten served as the Director General (CEO) of Norsk Hydro between 2001 and 2009, after which he took up the chairmanship of Norske Skog. Eivind Reiten was also Chairman of StatoilHydro for four days until he resigned from his position after Norsk Hydro had been accused of corruption.

Equinor Norwegian oil and gas company

Equinor ASA is a Norwegian multinational energy company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. It is a petroleum and wind energy company with operations in thirty-six countries. By revenue, while under Statoil name, Equinor was ranked by Forbes Magazine (2013) as the world's eleventh largest oil and gas company and the twenty-sixth largest company, regardless of industry, by profit in the world. The company has about 20,200 employees.

The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry was a Norwegian ministry responsible for business, trade and industry. On 1 January 2014 it was merged into Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. From 2013 it was led by Monica Mæland, who continued as minister of trade, industry and fisheries from 2014 to 2018.

Hydro Oil & Gas

Hydro Oil & Gas is a defunct division of Norsk Hydro that operated within the oil and gas industry. On October 1, 2007 it merged with Statoil to form the new corporation StatoilHydro.

Braathens Helikopter A/S was a Norwegian helicopter airline based at Stavanger Airport, Sola, and Bergen Airport, Flesland. It used a fleet of seven Aérospatiale Super Pumas to serve offshore oil platforms in the North Sea. The customers were Phillips Petroleum, Norsk Hydro, Statoil, Amoco and British Petroleum, serving their oil fields Ekofisk, Oseberg, Gullfaks, Veslefrikk, Valhall, Ula and Gyda. Braathens Helikopter operated from 1989 to 1993, after which it was sold to and merged with the main competitor, Helikopter Service. Braathens Helikopter was owned by Ludvig G. Braathens Rederi and was a sister company of the airline Braathens SAFE.

Gassled is a partnership to own the offshore natural gas transportation infrastructure at the Norwegian continental shelf. Its pipelines are operated by Gassco.

Oseberg Transport System (OTS) is a pipeline system in western Norway. It is 115 km (71 mi) long and runs from Oseberg, Veslefrikk, Brage, Frøy and Lille-Frigg to Sture terminal, located 65 kilometres (40 mi) north of Bergen, Norway. The operation of the pipeline was commenced in 1988. Total investment in the pipeline construction was about 9.8 billion NOK.

Sture Terminal is an oil terminal at Stura in Øygarden municipality, 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Bergen, Norway. It receives oil and condensate from Oseberg, Veslefrikk, Brage, Oseberg Sør, Oseberg Øst, Tune and Huldra fields through 115 km (71 mi) Oseberg Transport System (OTS) and oil from Grane oil field through 212 km (132 mi) Grane oil pipeline.

Grane oil field

Grane is an offshore oil field in the North Sea located 185 km (115 mi) west of the city of Haugesund on the western coast of Norway. It is Norway's first heavy crude oil production field and Statoil's largest heavy oil field in the Norwegian continental shelf. The oil from the field, located in Block 25/11 is transported to Sture terminal via Grane oil pipeline. The injection gas is imported to Grane oil field from the Heimdal, located just north the field.

Oseberg East

Oseberg Øst is an offshore oil field in the North Sea, located east of Oseberg Oil Field. The field was developed with a fixed production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) facility and is operated by Statoil. The first stage phase processing is done at the Oseberg Øst platform. The second and third phase processing of oil is done at the Oseberg Field Center and it is then transported to Sture terminal in Norway through the Oseberg Transport System.

Oseberg South

Oseberg South is an offshore oil field in the North Sea, located 115 kilometres (71 mi) from the coastline and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of Oseberg Oil Field. Oseberg Sør was discovered in 1984. The field was developed with a fixed production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) facility and is operated by Statoil. The first stage phase processing is done at the Oseberg Øst platform. The second and third phase processing of oil is done at the Oseberg Field Center and it is then transported to Sture terminal in Norway through the Oseberg Transport System. The development of the Oseberg Sør was approved in 1977. Recent updates include approval of J structure which started producing in November 2006 and Oseberg Sør G Sentral which has been developed in 2009.

Sven Ombudstvedt is a Norwegian businessperson. He is the chief executive officer of Norske Skog (2010–present).

Heimdal gas field

Heimdal is an offshore natural gas field in the North Sea located 212 kilometres (132 mi) northwest of the Stavanger, Norway. Heimdal serves as a connection hub for processing and distribution of natural gas from satellite fields.

Vale gas field

Vale is an offshore gas field in the North Sea located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of the Heimdal gas field. The depth of the water in the field area is 115 metres (377 ft). Vale is considered a satellite to Heimdal field and is connected to it by a pipeline. Estimated reserves at Vale stand at 2.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 21 million barrels (3,300,000 m3) of gas condensate. Vale gas field is expected to produce 1.6 million cubic metres per day of natural gas and 2,600 barrels per day (410 m3/d) of condensate.

Egil Olav Hogna is a Norwegian engineer and business executive. On 1 September 2015 he was appointed new CEO of Sapa Group.


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