Norwegian Consulate General, Houston
U.S. states within its jurisdiction include Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The consulate also covers the U.S. insular areas of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands and the country of Jamaica.
Petroleum-related business ties form major connections between Norway and Houston. Lasse Sigurd Seim, the consul general of Norway to Houston, described the estimated 5,000–6,000 Norwegians in the Houston area around 2008 as the largest concentration of Norwegians outside of Scandinavia. About 100 Norwegian companies had business operations in Houston during that year. In 2007 Houston had $1.5 billion United States dollars in trade with Norway.
The consulate first opened in 1977. For a 27 year period, the consulate leased space in the Riviana Building in the American General Center, at 2777 Allen Parkway, in Neartown Houston. Before it moved to its current location, the consulate was located in Suite 1185 in the Riviana Building. Around 2008 the Norwegian consulate announced that it was expanding consular services to a new building.
By 2008 the Norwegian government introduced plans to establish an "incubator" for Norwegian businesses in the Houston area, with the consulate and the Innovation Norway group organizing the incubator facility. The government planned to move the consulate offices into the facility along with small and medium-sized businesses. In 2010 the consulate relocated to the "Norway House," a building in Neartown that also houses Innovation Norway, INTSOK, the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), and several small offices reserved for small and medium-sized Norwegian companies that hope to establish business in Greater Houston. On November 16, 2010 the official opening was held. Trond Giske, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, attended the opening. The U.S. Green Building Council gave Norway House Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. Within the United States, Norway House is the first consulate facility and the second diplomatic facility to receive that certification.
- "About the Consulate General in Houston." Norway in the United States. Retrieved on February 20, 2010.
- Map of Neartown. Neartown Association. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
- "Welcome to the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Houston." Consulate-General of Norway in Houston. April 25, 2008. Retrieved on February 20, 2009.
- Louwagie, Pam. "Norway threatens to close consulate in Minnesota." Minneapolis Star-Tribune. October 10, 2007. Retrieved on February 11, 2009.
- Moreno, Jenalia. "For Norway, Houston is Oslo on the bayou / Many from Scandinavian nation, which has a major oil industry, are finding opportunities in Texas." Houston Chronicle. Sunday August 17, 2008. Business 1. Retrieved on February 11, 2009.
- "Our New Location: "Norway House"." Norwegian Consulate General, Houston. November 19, 2010. Retrieved on December 16, 2010.
- "American General Center." Drillinginfo. Retrieved on August 23, 2009.