The first Statoil flight operated by Norsk Helikopter left Sola airport outside Stavanger at 13.45 on 2 March.
This journey headed for the Yme field in the North Sea. It was followed at 15.15 by the maiden flight of the new Super Puma Mk II machine to Statoil's Sleipner fields.
Helicopter transport for the group off Norway has previously been provided by Helikopter Service as sole supplier. This monopoly ended last October when Norsk Helikopter was also given a five-year contract worth NOK 750 million.
The latter took over all Statoil flights from Stavanger on 1 March, and will start providing 40 per cent of air transport services from Bergen on 15 January next year.
"Norsk Helikopter is committed to new machines and has a good record for safety and regularity," observes special coordinator Dag Roth in Statoil's production services unit.
"It also has a small but well-organised management and a well-motivated organisation."
Statoil flights from Stavanger go to Yme, Draupner and the Sleipner fields in the North Sea. The group's other installations are served from Bergen, Kristiansund and Brønnøysund.
Helicopter services off Norway cost the group NOK 530 million in 1998, making it the largest user of such flights in the country.