The Draugen name

person by Kristin Øye Gjerde, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
A competition was staged within the Shell system to come up with a name for its Halten Bank field before it came on stream – and Draugen emerged as the winner.
— Lisa Kristin Haugen, 7 år, fra Ålesund ble vinner av tegnekonkurransen. Hun overrakte selv tegningen til olje- og energiminister Eivind Reiten ved en seremoni i Jåttåvågen.
© Norsk Oljemuseum

Not everyone was equally happy with that. The actual term draug derives from the Norse word draugr, which could originally mean any undead person or phantom.
Myths told along the Norwegian coast also identified the draug as a wraith, whether he lived in a mound (haugbúi in Norse) or emerged to haunt the living. At sea, a draug could warn of death or disaster.

In later folklore, the draug was usually described as the spirit of a fisherman who drowned at sea and had therefore not been buried in Christian soil. He was said to wear oilskins but had a clump of seaweed for a head, sailed half a boat with a ragged sail and was an omen of death for those who saw him – or even sought to pull them under water. He uttered an icy shriek on appearing.

Most of those who saw the draug died, but a story also exists from northern Norway about a local person who defeated the phantom.  Schoolchildren in Møre og Romsdal county were invited in 1991 to take part in a drawing competition to illustrate the Draugen platform. More than 3 000 entries were submitted.
Seven-year-old Lisa Kristin Haugen from Ålesund emerged as the winner, and presented her drawing to petroleum and energy minister Eivind Reiten during a ceremony in Stavanger.

Published October 1, 2018   •   Updated October 1, 2018
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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