The cross-party agreement which had prevailed at Statoil’s birth in 1972 did not last long. As early as 1973, when the company was to take over the state’s rights in Frigg, conflicts arose over its authority and the need for arrangements which ensured that elected politicians were in control.
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Social History in the Offshore Industry
It is said that oil and the wealth it creates affect peoples’ expectations, political institutions and processes, and the division of power in society independent of actual decisions taken by political authorities. The oil worker, being a central element of the industry, is also affected by the hunt for black gold. The oil industry is inherently international, and many oil workers are in fact oil nomads, following their companies’ projects around the world.
Statoil as a red thread in Norway’s oil model
Norway’s politicians faced a decision when oil was discovered on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 1969. They had to consider how stateparticipation in the petroleum industry was to be organised. The outcome was a unanimous vote by the Storting (parliament) to establish Statoil in 1972.