Saga Petroleum

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For the Denver-based oil company with the same name, see Saga Petroleum LLC.
Saga Petroleum ASA
Industry Oil and gas industry
Fate Merged with Norsk Hydro
Successor Statoil
Founded 1972
Defunct 1999
Headquarters Bærum, Norway
Products Petroleum
Number of employees
1,300 (1999)

Saga Petroleum ASA was a Norwegian upstream petroleum company established in 1972 that was acquired by Norsk Hydro in 1999. Since October 2007 it is a part of Statoil. The company was the only fully private oil company in Norway. It had partial ownership in 60 oil field licenses and was operator of 18.[1] Saga had an international profile, including major operations on the British continental shelf as well as minor operations in Angola, Indonesia, Libya and Namibia.[2]


Saga Petroleum was founded in 1972 as a private initiative based on a political wish to have three Norwegian oil companies. The company started up at the same time as Statoil and was part of the three-company model with one state owned company (Statoil), one semi-private company (Norsk Hydro) and one fully private company (Saga). The three Norwegian oil companies were to ensure that petroleum competence was established in Norway.

Among the largest fields Saga operated was the Snorre oil field, in addition to Tordi, Varg and Vigdis.[3] Not long before the merger Saga had acquired the Kuwait based Santa Fe Exploration for USD 1.23 billion.

Hydro purchase[edit]

Though it originally was Elf Aquitaine who tried to purchase Saga, it ended with Norsk Hydro acquiring the company. The reason for the purchase was the weak financial situation that Saga had become in partially because of the low oil price and partially because of the strategically failed acquisition of Santa Fe and hedging of the oil price.[4] After the merger with Hydro some of the operating responsibilities were transferred to Statoil. After the merger all of the operations in the British sector were sold.


  1. ^ SAGA PETROLEUM ASA- ADR Information |
  2. ^ 20F99del-1
  3. ^ (Norwegian) Internet Archive Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Norsk Hydro's Takeover of Saga Petroleum in 1999 - Tittelside