A short-lived boardGetting the oil hunt organised

Public affairs department in key position

The terms of the licence meant that Statoil became responsible for all information to the general public about Statfjord on behalf of the licensees.
By Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
- Left: Arne H. Halvorsen, Arve Johnsen and Einar Risa. Photo: Leif Berge/Equinor

This would normally have been one of the many responsibilities resting on Mobil as operator, but the Norwegian government was keen to give such assignments to the state-owned company. Statoil also secured backing for presenting the licensees as the Statoil/Mobil group.

A public affairs department was built up at Statoil which gave emphasis to promoting the company’s role in the Statfjord development. Arne H Halvorsen became its first head of public affairs in December 1973, when he was recruited from his position as an oil journalist with daily Stavanger Aftenblad. Information activities at the company included the production of press releases, presentations, brochures and films, as well as maintaining constant contact with the licensees.

Mobil eventually established its own magazine and provided information through such channels as advertisements in the Norwegian press.


Aftenposten 1. desember 1973: Nytt om navn; Arne H. Halvorsen
Karlsen, J., & Sikkerhetsmessig integrasjon av arbeidsorganisasjon -kultur og teknologi. (1986). Informasjonsbeslutninger i koalisjoner : Om erodering av en beslutningsmodell i oljevirksomheten (Vol. 13/86, Arbeidsnotat (Rogalandsforskning)). Stavanger: Rogalandsforskning.
Stavanger: Rogalandsforskning arbeidsnotat 13/ 1986: 18-23.


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