Norway is leading the way with cutting-edge engineering in the traditionally conservative oil industry, according to Reuters. Among the innovations -- which include new ways of drilling through rock and thick ice -- is a fiber-optic rod that can quickly take thousands of images per second along thousands of feet of oil wells to detect costly leaks. "ConocoPhillips said we saved them 200 million crowns [$33.2 million] on the first well we did for them because we found a leak in hours, saving them from having to plug it and drill a new well," said Stig Hognestad, chief executive of small technology firm Ziebel.

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