National assets at stake

August 13, 1999, 16:15 CEST

The future administration of Norway's offshore assets was identified as a crucial issue by acting petroleum and energy minister Anne Enger Lahnstein today (13 August).

She was speaking at a press conference in Oslo after receiving a report on the further development of Statoil and the state's direct financial interest (SDFI) in the petroleum sector.

"This question is about more than privatising Statoil and reorganising the SDFI," Ms Lahnstein emphasised.

The minister said that the government saw the need for changes, but would not commit itself to a standpoint at present.

Very careful attention would be paid to the issue, she promised. "The government will seek to establish a broad political collaboration out of consideration for the country's best interests."

Statoil chairman Ole Lund told the conference that a partial privatisation and stock market listing of the group would benefit both it and the state as owner.

He added that the Statoil board is concerned with safeguarding the national interest, and that the proposed solution would help to protect vital Norwegian interests.

"We believe a 'new' Statoil will be fully capable of looking after these substantial assets."

See related articles:

Report presented to the minister: Creating value for Statoil and SDFI

Press release: Statoil/SDFI merger proposed