During a speech in Helsinki in 1977, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Frydenlund spoke about the relationship between oil and foreign policy. The transition went practically unnoticed by a people preoccupied with a debate over membership in the Common Market. This was indeed an irony, since Norway's role as an oil nation is having a far more profound effect on its foreign relations than membership in the Common Market would have had. The main benchmarks of the birth of Norway's oil age are generally known. It was foreshadowed by the discovery of gas near Groningen in the Netherlands. The Norwegian-British agreement, like the others that Norway subsequently concluded with Denmark and Sweden, took as its point of departure a convention on the continental shelf which had fortuitously been signed in Geneva in 1958. Foreign Minister Frydenlund has addressed the foreign policy aspects of oil in a number of speeches, both in and out of Parliament.