"Some 35,000 people have lost their jobs in western Norway alone, so why don't oil engineers learn some Russian vocabulary and get busy?" Geir Torbjørnsen asked rhetorically Norwegian national broadcaster NRK.
In the years to come, a number of large-scale gas projects are scheduled to be built in the Russian part of the Arctic, and Torbjørnsen thinks Norwegian players should not miss the opportunity.
"With such large projects not affected by sanctions, it would be strange of us not to take action," he said.
"It is a common challenge that we do far too little abroad in terms of the potential we have," Simonsen told NRK.
Simonsen, who previously served as CFO in an oil-technology company, also stressed that many businesses tend to avoid Russia because of the potential criticism by Norwegian authorities.
"If only we had received more help from the Norwegian government, we may have had second thoughts," he said.
"The official Norwegian message is so negative that it scares off everyone," Berge said.
However, Communications Advisor at Norway's Foreign Ministry Rune Bjåstad stressed in an e-mail to NRK that restrictive measures were necessary in response to Russia's "violation of basic international rules."