Cost overruns and change of managementNew helideck

Norvik becomes new Statoil boss

person Norwegian Petroleum Museum
Arve Johnsen’s successor as chief executive of Statoil was Harald Norvik, who served as state secretary (junior minister) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy from 1979-81. He had later worked for Astrup og Aubert and been a vice president of the Aker group.
— Harald Norvik. Photo: Olav Standal Tange/Norsk olje og gass (CC BY-SA 2.0,
© Norsk Oljemuseum

As head of the state oil company, Norvik became known for his commitment to extending its operations to the international arena. He aired these plans at several conferences as early as the winter and spring of 1990. The speech he gave at the Norwegian Polytechnic Society was entitled Statoil among the world elite.

He was able to announce on 31 August 1990, during the ONS oil show in Stavanger, that Statoil and British Petroleum (BP) were forming a strategic alliance.

The pair were to collaborate over exploration and production in several parts of the former Soviet Union, in several west African countries, in China and in Vietnam.

Eighteen years after Statoil had been founded, partly to serve as a bulwark against the multinational oil companies, it was now going to join them.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Ryggvik, Helge. Til siste dråpe. Om oljens politiske økonomi . 2009, pp 195-197. 
This international effort continued throughout the 1990s.

Just before his departure, Norvik proposed on 13 August 1999 that Statoil should be partially privatised through a stock exchange listing. That would give it greater freedom of action.

So a former junior petroleum and energy minister and a card-carrying member of the Labour Party was the man who gave the push which realised the Conservative Party’s old dream of bringing private shareholders into Statoil.

Norvik was forced to resign as chief executive in 1999 after big cost overruns in the development of the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

Budgeted to cost NOK 47 billion, this project ran up a bill of NOK 64 billion. Not only Norvik but also the board had to go. Olaf Fjell took over the helm.

Cost overruns and change of managementNew helideck
Published December 4, 2019   •   Updated January 16, 2020
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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