Going to Gassco

October 24, 2001, 14:00 CEST

The transfer of personnel from Statoil at Bygnes and Kårstø, north of Stavanger, to Gassco, the new operator company for the transport of natural gas, has begun.

Work tasks and personnel will be officially transferred from 1 January 2002, but six to eight people have already been seconded to Gassco to prepare for the takeover, reports Ørjan Aarthun, head of the human resources function for Kårstø and Bygnes.

According to the Working Environment Act, workers who are fully employed in that part of the operation which is being transferred are entitled to go over to Gassco. In practice, this affects Statoil's employees in the product management unit at Bygnes, which includes, for instance, the control centre for gas transport. This involves approximately 55 employees – 45 in gas, and 10 in information technology. A further 20 employees can transfer to Gassco if they wish to do so.

Mr Aarthun emphasises that cooperation with union officials in the process has been good. Should more Statoil employees apply for transfer to Gassco, it may mean that the group will have to recruit new personnel. Altogether Statoil has approximately 600 employees at Kårstø and Bygnes.

According to proposition no 36 to the Storting (parliament), Gassco's main work will be systems operation, licence administration and overall supervision of the Norwegian transport network. Statoil is transferring the operator responsibility for about 5000 kilometres of pipeline in total. Statoil will still carry out the technical operation of the gas processing plant at Kårstø, the pipelines and associated platforms and terminals.