New premises and industry
The adjacent land was purchased, and Elf planned extensions at each end of the existing building. The company applied to the government for a permit. This proved less simple than it might have hoped. The governor of Rogaland county, which embraces Dusavik, had expressed ideas about building quotas for companies in 1978, and the oil committee for Haugesund and Karmøy called for Elf to locate the base for Frigg and Heimdal at the northern end of the county. A major lobbying campaign was launched to demand that Elf be prevented from expanding in Stavanger. Elf was the only major oil company which was refused permission to enlarge its premises in the oil city. Fredric Isoard, managing director for Elf Norge, made it absolutely clear that a division of the company was out of the question. This was quite simply unacceptable in terms of operating economics.
Elf could accept that part of the warehousing and training functions could be devolved to Haugalandet – the area embracing Haugesund and Karmøy – and that an operations organisation for a possible commercial discovery in block 15/3 could also be moved north. Another option was for Elf to participate in the development of an industrial estate at Husøy on Karmøy.
The politicians were now on Elf’s side. On 14 May 1980, the government gave the green light for a new building of 8 000 square metres in Dusavik on condition that Elf helped to finance the Husøy development and assisted in establishing activities at the site. Elf contributed NOK 25 million and Karmøy got its industrial estate, which opened in 1982.
Smedvig erected the new buildings, with Elf as the tenant. Continuing to lease the premises was both cheaper and simpler than owning them. The additional wings were ready in November 1982 and the late autumn of 1983.Staff association establishedA heroic deed