As always when a new installation is formally inaugurated, it had already been on stream for a couple of days. All the systems had to be thoroughly tested to check that nothing could go wrong when the minister himself came to press the green button which opened the valves.
“This represents an important milestone in Norway’s relatively short history as an oil-producing nation,” Kristiansen commented, and praised the field licensees – with US operator Mobil in the lead – for completing the platform not only ahead of schedule but also within budget.
Mike Smith, chief executive of Mobil Exploration Norway Inc, took the opportunity to thank the many individuals, suppliers and government agencies who had contributed to making Statfjord what it had become – a field which would produce oil and gas worth hundreds of billions of kroner. He made special mention of the fact that Norwegian industry had contributed 76 per cent of the value of products and services delivered to Statfjord C.
Internationally, the ceremony received less positive comment. Observers in the world oil market maintained that this was an unfortunate time from a psychological perspective to increase Norwegian crude output. The inauguration occurred only three days before the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) was to hold a crisis meeting in Vienna. With the market characterised by low prices, it was proving difficult to sell Opec output.
A lower oil price or a production cutback would be very difficult for poor Opec members such as Nigeria and Indonesia. They were already producing well below capacity in order to sustain prices. This was the market to which Statfjord C crude was introduced.
To learn more, see: A giant mated .
Aftenposten , morning edition, 3 July 1985. “Milepæl for oljeNorge”.Mobil establishes Statfjord divisionStatpipe starts exporting gas