China trade rises despite boycott

Elkem Solar boasts that it can produce solar grade silicon with one-fourth of the energy compared with similar technologies. Elkem's new Chinese owner wants to develop Elkem's ideas.PHOTO: Elkem/Nicolas Tourrenc)

Even though China has been politically punishing Norway since 2010, when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, trade between the two countries continues to rise. New statistics released this week indicate the only “punishment” has been that it hasn’t risen even higher. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Thursday that […]

Støre ‘surprised’ by China’s boycott

Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre granted lots of interviews this week as he prepared to lead his party’s annual meeting for the first time. In newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), Støre addressed what DN called China’s lengthy “boycott” of Norway, which began when he was still foreign minister. “I think it’s abnormal and serious that Norway […]

Statoil director resigns after marrying

Norwegian oil company Statoil announced Wednesday that a member of its board of directors had resigned “with immediate effect” after “a recent change of circumstances.” That involved her recent marriage to the chairman of Statoil competitor BG Group, and a pending inquiry into whether that posed any conflicts of interest. Catherine Hughes, a Canadian who […]

Solberg meets Indonesian leaders

Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited one of the largest mosques in the world on Wednesday, during her official visit to Indonesia. PHOTO: Øystein L Andersen/Ambassaden i Jakarta

Prime Minister Erna Solberg is on an official visit to Indonesia this week, meeting both political and religious leaders for a wide range of talks. Solberg said Norway can learn about how the largest religious groups have themselves learned to “live in peace with one another,” but she also lodged her own protest about Indonesia’s reinstatement […]

Oil industry hits a mid-life crisis

The announcement that the Ekofisk oil field (among others) will be expanded came on the same day that Norway was criticized by NASA's James Hansen, and just a day before the news that the country's sovereign wealth fund is now the world's biggest. PHOTO: Kjetil Alsvik/ConocoPhillips

Norway’s oil industry has just passed an important 50th anniversary but there wasn’t much mood to celebrate. The industry finds itself grappling with a dive in oil prices that’s led to uncertainty and thousands of job losses, at a time when political pressure is building to further curtail operations. At last weekend’s annual national meeting of the Liberal […]

Statoil engineers face new job cuts

There's reason for Statoil employees working inside company offices here at Fornebu outside Oslo and in Stavanger to be nervous about their futures with the company. PHOTO:

More job cuts loom at Norway’s biggest company, Statoil, as it tries to slash costs in the face of much lower oil prices. All of its 12,000 engineers now face acute job uncertainty. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Monday that Statoil aims to cut costs by another 20 percent, and that all of its 12,000 engineering jobs are under […]

Housing prices flatten out

Average housing prices rose o.7 percent from February to March, according to figures from real estate brokers released this week. When corrected for seasonal variations, though, the increase was pegged at just 0.1 percent, and many brokers think prices may be flattening out. After years of red-hot real estate markets in many Norwegian cities, things […]

Stock exchange record tied to low interest rates

Tuesday’s burst of activity on the Oslo Stock Exchange was being linked on Wednesday to low interest rates and the attractiveness of companies benefiting from Norway’s weaker currency. The stock exchange record set by Tuesday’s close came despite the pessimism that’s been creeping into the Norwegian economy since oil prices started to fall last year. […]

Hard times cancel big oil exhibition

Stavanger has already been hit by the decline in oil prices and now it's lost a major oil industry exhibition as well. PHOTO:

UPDATED: ONS Foundation, which runs Norway’s large oil industry exhibitions in Stavanger, has decided to cancel this year’s gathering of  industry players active on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.  Organizers blamed lower oil prices that have led to harder times in the oil business, but one critic of the event cited other possible reasons as well. One thing […]

Oil companies slash expenses, travel

Cutbacks in the oil and gas industries are seeping into other areas of the Norwegian economy, as companies slash costs for travel, representation and a host of other activities. Airlines serving Norway, local hotels and restaurants are among those feeling the pinch that already has affected oil service firms. “Given what’s happening in the oil […]