In his new role, Saetre mentioned there would be a greater push towards renewable energy.
"We will... strengthen our efforts in the transition to a low carbon society," he said, "Competitiveness and sustainability is of critical importance, either in oil and gas production or future projects in renewable energy."
Statoil has approximately 8GW of offshore projects in operation, under construction or in the pipeline, including a stake in the 7.2GW Dogger Bank zone as part of developer Forewind.
Its 317MW Sheringham Shoal project in the North Sea, developed with Statkraft, was commissioned in 2012.
Saetre had been acting CEO since October 2014, replacing Helge Lund who joined oil and gas firm BG Group. He was previously executive vice president for Statoil's marketing, processing and renewable energy unit.
He had originally ruled himself out of taking the role permanently after being appointed interim CEO in October.