From the mid-1990s, Statoil wanted to focus more on its core business. The shipping and maritime technology (SMT) business area was accordingly demerged into Navion. SMT had embraced floating storage and production units, shuttle tankers, conventional crude oil and product carriers, gas tankers and maritime technology in general.
On the basis of the big Statfjord and Gullfaks oil fields, Statoil had built up a fleet of shuttle tankers in cooperation with Norwegian shipowners. It transferred all assets and rights associated with SMT to Navion. Creating a separate company made it possible to involve co-owners. Navion was initially owned 80 per cent by Statoil and 20 per cent by Rasmussen.
White Paper no 46 (1997-98) maintained that it was desirable to retain Statoil as a wholly state-owned company, but with the focus on its core business.
Johnsen, Arve. Norges evige rikdom, p 188.
Lindøe, Jon Ove. From Sea to Shore, pp 31 and 66.
Report no 46 (1997-1998) to the Storting. Olje og gassvirksomheten.