In 1972, the Storting (parliament) voted to establish Statoil as a publicly-owned oil company which would not only manage the state’s equity interests but also take on an operational responsibility.
As the business purpose clause in the company’s articles of association states, it was “to carry out exploration for and production, transport, processing and marketing of petroleum and petroleum-derived products”. Statoil was to manage national resources and give emphasis to national industrial and expertise development, creating jobs and encouraging regional development.
Arve Johnsen, Statoil’s newly appointed chief executive, arrived at the company’s sparsely furnished offices in Stavanger on 1 December 1972. He hired Marit Falck as his secretary, and ran the business with her during the initial phase from leased premises at Lågardsveien 80. Statoil’s petty cash was kept in an old cigar box together with the stamps. This modest container later became a symbol of a small company in competition with the international giants.
Johnsen, A. (1988). Utfordringen : Statoil-år. Oslo: Gyldendal
Karlsen, J. (1990). Pegasus og sigarkassen : Myter og symbolsk ledelse i oljevirksomheten (Vol. 1, Studier i jus og samfunnsvitenskap (trykt utg.)). Oslo: Rådet for samfunnsvitenskapelig forskning i NAVF : Universitetsforlaget: 5.