The competitiveness of the Norwegian Continental shelf has been put firmly on the agenda in Norway since the report from a working group set up by the Ministry of Industry and Energy was released in February this year. If there is to be secured a long future for oil and gas activities, a reduction in the time and costs used in the projects of the order of 40-50%, without jeopardizing the high safety and environmental standards achieved in Norway. The paper addresses how technology can be a driving force in achieving these aims. But technology alone cannot do the job. Progress and changes in several other areas are also necessary, and the new scenario also calls for improved relations between all actors in the North Sea, authorities, oil companies, contractors and labour unions. 15 figs.