Regulating Petroleum Industry and Revenues: What Does Norway Get Out of the Petroleum Industry?

Noralv Veggeland


The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has from the beginning of the discovery of petroleum
heavily regulated the production, transport, sale and revenues of oil and gas. The financial Government Pension
Fund – Global was established, and later ethical guidelines have strictly regulated the Fund’s foreign investments.
The regulations are manifold and complex, which complicate both national and global implementations. This
study shows that strong political will has made the adherence to the regulations successful. There remains one
question, however: what do Norwegians themselves get out of the financial savings, besides a modest interest and
dividend yield? The export surplus is said to be so large that spending more than a small fraction at home would
cause inflation. The study elaborates the dilemma: public infrastructure represents the largest capital expenditure
in almost every country, yet little trace of its economic role appears today in Norwegian infrastructure accounts.

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