Norway’s new reality sets in

Sharply reduced investment in the oil industry has cut demand for the drilling solutions offered by companies like National Oilwell Varco, which announced major layoffs in Norway on Wednesday. PHOTO: NOV

NEWS ANALYSIS: As government leaders scurried from one state budget crisis meeting to another heading into the weekend, Norway’s oil- and oil-related companies have been dealing with crises that are much more direct, and painful. One of Norway’s top political commentators helped put things in perspective just ahead of the government’s D-Day over the budget on […]

Oil Fund may invest more in stocks

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, known as the Oil Fund, wants to start investing more of the oil revenues it receives in the stock market, to boost returns. Norway’s central bank, which is responsible for the fund, is seeking permission to do so from the finance ministry. The Oil Fund currently invests 60 percent of its […]

Former Yara boss wins his appeal

Yara International, one of the world's biggest fertilizer producers, is caught in a huge bribery scandal but it hasn't badly affected its share price. Current management seems intent on carrying on, with those charged in the case mostly belonging to the company's earlier top management team. PHOTO: Yara

Thorleif Enger, the embattled former chief executive of Oslo-based fertilizer firm Yara, was acquitted on Friday by the jury hearing his appeal of his conviction for corruption. Two other former Yara bosses were also cleared, with only one member of Yara’s longtime management team convicted of corruption involving Yara operations in Libya and India. The acquittals […]

Oil industry slump due to turn around

Norway's krone has been riding the waves of the most volatile summer in years. PHOTO:

UPDATED: Oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday, and the value of Norway’s currency, the krone, immediately jumped as well after the oil cartel OPEC reportedly agreed to cut oil production. Norway’s state statistics bureau SSB now thinks the oil industry downturn is about to turn around and that economic growth will pick up. With oil supply […]

Offshore crisis due to worsen

Havila is among offshore vessel owners caught in crisis, after oil prices fell dramatically. PHOTO: Havila

One of Norway’s deeply troubled offshore firms, Havila Shipping, managed to avoid being put into bankruptcy on Monday, but the crisis in the offshore service sector is far from over. “We have to roll up our sleeves and keep on working,” Havila chief Njål Sævik told Dagens Næringliv (DN). The dive in oil prices has […]

Lofoten fends off the oil industry

Lofoten, oil - grafitti on a stone in Svolvær, march 2013

The battle that’s raged for years over oil exploration and production off Norway’s scenic northern coastline reached what key players called a “turning point” during the weekend. Now it looks like opposition to oil activity from Lofoten north to Senja is strong enough to prevent the state from spending more time and money on an official report about oil’s consequences. Such reports, […]

Debt levels soar as shoppers roared


Norwegian shoppers literally roared their way into the annual Christmas shopping season (julehandel) at “Black Friday” sales heading into the weekend, just as more reports emerged of high household debt levels. That’s not a good combination, economists warned, but sales were expected to climb once again. Noisy crowds gathered around the entrances of several shopping centers in Norway in the […]

Fire destroys Selje Hotel

The Selje Hotel, located on a picturesque beach near Norway’s West Cape, was heavily damaged in a fire during the night. The hotel was closed for the winter and there were no injuries, but the fire is a major loss for the local community. The hotel attracted visitors to its relatively remote location in the county […]

Food giants battle over potato chips

It was crunch time in a Norwegian appeals court this week, as two of Norway’s major food producers, Orkla and Maarud, battled over who has the legal right to call their potato chip products potetgull. Maarud claims it has registered rights to the term, while Orkla maintains it’s a generic description for all “crispy fried slices of […]

Politicians avoid real emission cuts

Marius Holm and the environmental foundation ZERO he leads opened a conference in Oslo on Wednesday aimed at finding ways of turning Norway into a zero-emissions society. The conference also zeroed in on how politicians' ongoing support for Norway's oil industry runs counter to their stated goals of cutting emissions. PHOTO: ZERO Emission Resource Organisation

As Norwegian politicians continued to quarrel this week over raising fuel taxes to cut carbon emissions, climate activists gathering in Oslo put the quarreling in perspective. They noted how Norway’s oil and gas industry emits roughly 10 times the emissions of all the cars in Norway combined, yet politicians remain reluctant to scale it back even though ongoing […]