Oil ministry scolded over Equinor

Norway’s State Auditor General (Riksrevisjonen) has concluded that the government has done a poor job following up on its large ownership stake in state oil company Equinor. The oil ministry failed, according to state auditors, to make enough demands for information regarding Equinor’s deeply troubled international operations. Equinor has been in trouble for months over […]

Arctic oil prevails over ‘The People’

Norway’s Supreme Court (Høyesterett) ruled in favour of the state on Tuesday in a long-running landmark case billed as pitting “The People vs Arctic Oil.” In this case, the state was not “The People” but instead the government-approved Arctic oil operations that once again won over Norwegians’ alleged constitutional rights to a healthy environment. It marked […]

Biden welcome, not his Arctic oil ban

The vast majority of Norway’s top and mostly liberal politicians welcomed the news this week that Joe Biden finally has been officially elected as the next US president. Most, however, are not at all keen on his proposal to stop oil drilling in the Arctic. Biden has said he intends to make climate issues a […]

Norway no longer ‘best place to live’

NEWS ANALYSIS: Oil has long fueled Norway’s hugely successful welfare state, but now it’s helped knock the country off the top of the UN’s annual list of the world’s best places to live, when adjusted for “planetary pressures.” The UN is now taking countries’ carbon footprints and their impact on consumption into account, and both are […]

‘Spies target the oil and energy sector’

UPDATED: The abrupt resignation on Friday of the central bank boss responsible for Norway’s huge Oil Fund, because he’d lost his security clearance, came just a day after Norwegian intelligence experts warned of increased spying on the country’s oil and energy sector. Among those believed to be behind the alleged spying: China and Russia. Jon […]

Fire hit Equinor gas plant

State oil company Equinor has been hit by yet another accident, this time at a gas plant in Møre og Romsdal where fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters feared an explosion but managed to put the fire within an hour. Around 30 workers were evacuated after the fire reportedly started in a compressor building at […]

Equinor’s refinery ‘leaking for years’

Norwegian state oil company Equinor is having to deal with even more bad news, following release of an internal report on chronic leaks from its sprawling refinery at Mongstad on Norway’s west coast. Equinor now risks criminal charges from state environmental authorities, and admits to not knowing how much oil has leaked into the ground […]

Parliament probes flow of oil reports

Just as the Center Party is reaching new heights in voter popularity, one of its former oil ministers has landed in more trouble with Parliament. Ola Borten Moe, who now works in the oil business himself, is suspected of withholding information that some Arctic oil fields could turn out to be unprofitable and expensive for […]

Fury surrounds new Arctic oil licenses

The Norwegian government and Oil Minister Tina Bru came under harsh criticism this week when they offered 136 new oil exploration licenses in more areas of the Arctic. The move comes while the Supreme Court and Parliament are reviewing the risks of earlier Arctic projects, and it was blasted as being both “arrogant” and “reckless.” […]

High court ponders future of Arctic oil

Opponents of offshore oil activity in Norway’s Arctic areas received flowers to mark the end last week of their landmark case against the state at the Supreme Court. As the high court’s deliberations began, the plaintiffs were cheered by earlier signs of royal support, not least after some harsh closing arguments. The case has received lots […]