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Historic decision for the group

April 26, 2001, 19:00 CEST

"This is an historic day for Statoil," was Olav Fjell's immediate comment after the Storting (parliament) resolved today, 26 April to list the group on the stock exchange.

A majority in the Storting voted for a partial privatisation of Statoil. It also agreed that the group can buy 15 per cent of the state's direct financial interest (SDFI) and decided that Statoil will be listed.

"The government believes that this is an important step for Statoil's future development and its potential value creation," announced Olav Akselsen, petroleum and energy minister.

He characterised this day as a "milestone in Norwegian petroleum history."

Chief executive Olav Fjell was present in the Storting listening to the four-hour discussion on the Bill, Ownership of Statoil and future management of SDFI.

Afterwards Mr Fjell responded as follows to questions about how a stock exchange listing this summer will affect the employees:

"I do not believe that the working day will be much different than before. But we will probably notice that closer attention will be paid to our operations."

In today's debate, prime minister Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the government will present its proposed changes to petroleum tax legislation on Friday 27 April. The proposals represent substantially smaller changes for companies on the Norwegian continental shelf than those originally put forward by the Ministry of Finance. This means that the process leading to a stock exchange listing can go ahead as planned.