“I name you Statfjord B …”
Before the actual ceremony, the visitors were taken on a tour of the platform to view both the production facilities and the living quarters.
They included representatives from the Cabinet, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the standing committee on industry in the Storting (parliament), the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the county of Rogaland, the City of Stavanger, Vindafjord local authority, the Statfjord licensees and the main contractors.
The naming ceremony began at 12.00. Arve Johnsen, chief executive of Statoil, began by thanking everyone who had been involved in the construction project – a total of 40 000 men and women.
Agnes Rettedal, wife of Stavanger mayor Arne Rettedal, was the lady sponsor. An old tradition and superstition decrees that ships and offshore installations must be named by a woman.
“I name this platform Statfjord B. May God bless it and all who serve on it,” Rettedal recited, and then launched the champagne bottle at the sign which had been welded on for the occasion. It smashed at the first attempt.
Hard hats were then removed as the Norwegian national anthem was played. The 600 workers on board at the time also took a break and were able to follow the ceremony from various vantage points.
Lunch was served in the platform canteen, and comprised the normal daily menu plus canapés and a specially created naming cake shaped like Statfjord B.
In keeping with Norwegian dining traditions, Johnsen gave a speech to thank the hosts for the food and used the opportunity to praise the catering personnel.
He then unveiled a plaque as a memorial of the event before the guests returned to Stavanger and a festive dinner at the Atlantic Hall in the city centre.
A total of 139 guests were invited. Johnsen was the toastmaster, and Rettedal noted that Statfjord B was built in Stavanger. She expressed the city’s thanks for the opportunity to construct the world’s largest offshore platform to date.
The unions at topside builder Moss Rosenberg Verft and Norwegian Contractors, responsible for the concrete support structure, received cheques for NOK 20 000 each as thanks for their efforts. A gold bracelet was presented to the lady sponsor.
On the following day, the Statfjord licensees staged a big party for employees in Statoil and Mobil who had worked on the Statfjord B project. Almost 500 invitations were issued.
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