The Norwegian government formally approved the change on 12 December 1986. Mobil would continue to function as Statoil’s technical assistant in operating the field until the end of 1987, when it became an ordinary licensee. Transferring the operatorship was one of the conditions in the original Norwegian licence awarded in 1973, and could be exercised 10 years after the field was declared commercial in 1974.
Statoil had wanted to take over in 1984, but Mobil was negative and regarded the loss of operatorship as a big blow to its prestige. After political clarifications, the change was approved by the Storting on 14 December 1984.
To learn more, see: Changing the operator.
Aftenposten , morning edition, 15 December 1986.
Norwegian Wire Service (NTB), 1 December 1986.