Statoil was incorporated as a limited liability company under the name Den norske stats oljeselskap a.s on 18 September 1972. As a company wholly owned by the Norwegian State, Statoil's role was to be the government's commercial instrument in the development of the oil and gas industry in Norway.
In 2001, the company became a public limited company listed on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges, and it changed its name to Statoil ASA. On 1 October 2007, the oil and gas division of Norsk Hydro ASA was merged with Statoil, and the company was given the temporary name of StatoilHydro. On 1 November 2009, the company changed its name back to Statoil.
We have grown in parallel with the Norwegian oil and gas industry, which dates back to the late 1960s. The commencement of our operations focused primarily on exploration for and the production and development of oil and gas on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) as a partner.
In the 1970s, we commenced our own operations, made important discoveries and began oil refining operations, which have been of great importance to the further development of the NCS.
In the 1980s, we saw substantial growth through the development of major fields on the NCS (Statfjord, Gullfaks, Oseberg, Troll and others). We also became a major player in the European gas market by securing large sales contracts for the development and operation of gas transport systems and terminals. During the same decade, we were involved in manufacturing and marketing in Scandinavia, and we established a comprehensive network of service stations.
The 1990s were characterised by substantial improvements in the production performance of our large fields. This was the result of intense technological development on the NCS. We laid the foundation for future improvements by becoming a leading company in the fields of floating production facilities and subsea development. The company grew strongly, expanded in new product markets and increased its commitment to international exploration and production.
Since 2000, our business has grown as a result of substantial investments on the NCS and internationally. Our ability to fully realise the potential of the NCS was strengthened through the merger with Hydro's oil and gas division, which also bolstered our global competitiveness.
In recent years, we have utilised our expertise to design and manage operations in various environments, in order to grow our upstream activities outside our traditional area of offshore production, for example through the development of heavy oil and shale gas projects.
In October 2010, we successfully carried out an initial public offering (IPO) of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA on the Oslo stock exchange, partially divesting and reducing our interest in the business relating to service stations.
Although petroleum-related activities on the NCS and internationally have been the main part of our business, we increasingly participate in projects focusing on other forms of energy, such as wind power and CCS (carbon capture and storage), in anticipation of the need to expand energy production, strengthen energy security and combat adverse climate change.