The international oil companies are pulling out from Stavanger after years of test drilling without success. This will have consequences for everyone in the town, not least of all Christian Nyman who works as a diver on one of the rigs, and Toril Torstensen whose American boyfriend works for Shell.
Phillips Petroleum introduces a smoking ban on the oil rig Ocean Viking, and the mayor in Stavanger speculates as to whether the Americans might have found oil. Toril Torstensen makes an unavoidable choice.
Nyman’s factory has financial problems, and Fredrik Nyman has to come up with a plan to save the business. Anna Hellevik sees an opportunity to help her father-in-law and starts scheming behind Fredrik’s back. Toril Torstensen gets help from an unexpected friend.
Ingrid is planning a party for Fredrik’s 50th birthday and breaks social rules to support a friend in trouble. Christian and the other divers at the Ocean Viking are taking risks every day at work, and the risks are getting increasingly dangerous.
Phillips Petroleum is looking for a place by the coast to build a gigantic Ekofisk tank for oil storage. Dirdal Valley, where Anna’s family’s farm is situated, is one of the areas they are considering. What Anna learns from her work at the mayor’s office has dire consequences.
Christian and Martin start their own diving company and are in need of start-up capital. Meanwhile, Ingrid and Fredrik Nyman make a plan to help their son, and an old friend of Toril’s returns to town.
Mayor Rettedal uses unorthodox methods to get Stavanger selected as Norway’s oil capital. At a party at the Esso Motor Hotel, Anna does something she regrets, and Toril extends a hand to Bengt Hamre.
The day has come for a vote in Parliament about which city will become Norway’s oil capital. The choice is between Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, and the whole town is excited. Parliament will also vote on the establishment of a state oil company. Anna makes a life choice that has consequences for everyone around her.