Statoil cuts back on new oil project

There was no lack of hyperbole when Statoil presented its latest development plan for the long-delayed Johan Castberg oil field off Northern Norway on Tuesday. Statoil has resorted to extreme cost-cutting to make it profitable, however, and North Cape communities hoping for economic development from the Castberg project may wind up disappointed. “This is a […]

Krone’s latest dive ‘unique, strange’

Norway’s currency, the krone, has been caught in another puzzling downward spiral this week that’s left analysts groping for explanations. Despite more positive economic indicators, the Norwegian krone fell to one of the lowest levels ever against the euro on Wednesday and remained weak on Thursday. After trading at an already relatively weak level of […]

Norway’s economy pumping up again

Norway was wallowing in good energy-related news on Tuesday that’s expected to further fuel its economic recovery. The country stands to gain from a recent rise in oil prices, more gas exports to Germany and even reports of climate researchers’ new calculations suggesting the planet has more time to cut carbon emissions. “It’s fantastic to […]

Offshore giant aims to refloat fortunes

Seadrill, controlled since its founding by Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen, aimed to be the world’s largest offshore offshore drilling contractor. It was already burdened with heavy debt, though, when oil prices collapsed in 2014, prompting it to ultimately file for bankruptcy protection last week in a move now aimed at reviving its fortunes. The company has stressed that […]

NAV reports another dip in layoffs

Norway’s state welfare agency NAV reported this week that it received around 1,500 notices from employers of looming layoffs and furloughs in May. That compares to nearly double the amount received in the same month last year. The latest decline in layoff notices brought them to their lowest level in three years, following another decline in April. […]

Oil price collapse ‘is now behind us’

An optimistic Norwegian government presented a revised state budget on Thursday that proposes few changes in the annual budget for 2017 that was approved in December. That’s because the economic program laid out in the budget is working well, according to Finance Minister Siv Jensen. “Unemployment is on its way down and economic growth is on its […]

Fredriksen scrambles to save Seadrill

Norwegian shipowner and industrial tycoon John Fredriksen, long listed as one of the wealthiest men in the world, says he’s working 18 hours a day to save his large offshore rig company Seadrill from bankruptcy. The 72-year-old Fredriksen has faced crises before, and is prepared to “work day and night” for the next several weeks […]

Statoil scolded over workers’ buyouts

Norway’s state oil company Statoil was the target of some angry editorials and complaints this week, after newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported just how lucrative it’s been for Statoil’s workers to voluntarily give up their jobs. Employee buyouts have cost an estimated NOK 4 billion over the past three years, with the state and taxpayers picking […]

Offshore crisis led to major merger

Norway will soon be able to claim a giant in the offshore shipping industry, after Norwegian tycoons Kjell Inge Røkke and John Fredriksen announced a merger this week based on casualties of the crisis that hit the offshore industry after oil prices collapsed.  The deal stems from Røkke’s Aker concern and Fredriksen’s Hemen Holding investment firm jointly […]

Expert warns of Arctic drilling risks

A highly acclaimed Oxford professor who’s considered an expert on energy research has thrown cold water on Norway’s hopes for a new oil era in the Arctic. Dieter Helm doesn’t think oil prices will rise much higher and are more likely to fall, making costly oil investments in the Barents Sea unprofitable. Helm, addressing an annual gathering of top oil […]