Hard to forget? But harder to be reminded of! Norway and North Sea oil.

The Storting: Norway’s Parliament

By stewartb

Wee yes but not too wee! Certainly not poor! And clearly not stupid – but more importantly, having the agency to use its good sense. It’s the story of Norway. It’s the long term legacy of North Sea oil.

This is prompted by an e-mail alert from the data synthesiser, Statista. It has just published (29 January) an account of the world’s major sovereign wealth funds. It tells us about Norway’s. We learn that the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (NGPF) is (still) the largest of any sovereign wealth fund in the world. According to data from the SWF Institute, the fund contained more than $1.1 trillion as of January 2021. Most of the assets are tied up in stocks, bonds and real estate across the world .

Only the China Investment Cooperation fund comes close to Norway’s fund in value, with assets of just above $1 trillion. The other sovereign wealth funds in the top eight are much smaller. Their assets range from between $370 and $580 billion for funds located in places such as Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

From the Statista report: “The unique Norwegian fund was set up to invest government revenues from fossil fuel industries into sectors deemed more sustainable in order to provide for a future when the country can no longer rely on its income from oil. The Norwegian government is free to use up to three percent of the fund’s volume annually for social purposes – that number currently amounts up to $33 billion.” (c. £24 billion at current rates of exchange)

(Interestingly, companies involved in ‘production of nuclear weapons’ are excluded from Norway’s investment portfolio: the list of companies specifically excluded contains BAE Systems.)

For perspective, in its 2019-20 budget, the Scottish Government was able to allocate c. £5 billion for capital spend and c. £29.5 billion for resource spend. (Source: The Scottish Government’s proposed spending and tax plans for 2019 to 2020. Annex A). Remember, the Norwegian government collects taxes too!

In the 2019-20 report on the Fund to Norway’s parliament in 2020, there are these explanatory statements:

“The Government Pension Fund belongs to the people of Norway. The purpose of the savings in the Fund is to support the funding of pension expenditure under the National Insurance Scheme and to promote long-term considerations in government petroleum revenue spending, in order to ensure that the petroleum wealth will benefit both current and future generations.”

And as to its domestic significance: “The GPFG (the Government Pension Fund Global) forms an integral part of the fiscal budget and fiscal policy framework. Government petroleum revenues are transferred to the GPFG in their entirety, whilst withdrawals from the Fund are determined by resolutions of the Storting. Over time, the Fund has become an ever more important source of funding for public expenditure.

And in stark contrast, in Scotland we’re condemned as too poor – as dependent, subsidised – in the annual Unionist GERSfest!

12 thoughts on “Hard to forget? But harder to be reminded of! Norway and North Sea oil.

  1. Never in the annals of history
    Has so much been stolen
    From many a peoples of a Nation
    For the benefit of but a few
    And upon that my Lord and Jury I rest my case upon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually the BritNat empire stole masses, violently pillaging their way around the globe, but, in this case it’s more recent, they knew from day one of the fraudulent signing of the ‘treaty of union’ that they were onto a good thing.
      Tragic, as with their other colonies, the people they thieved riches from were left to live in poverty and destitution, stamped on, language, history and culture denied them. No prospects, divide and conquer, left terrible economic and social debris for decades after.
      Just search for ‘images of Scotland tenements in the 1980’s’ and it’s there, looks like the 1930’s. I have said before I was utterly shocked to see photo’s not so long ago, of Edinburgh and Glasgow
      tenements in the 1980’s, because being from the NE of England, a region of England never made prosperous, I had still only seen photos like that of the 1930’s or maybe 1950’s England. Post war the EngGov built millions of council houses, in England and knocked down most of the slums.

      I read that Scotland was their least and last priority, for improving housing etc. Still is, even though they lie about that oh and their faux we will bring ‘HS2 to Scotland and widen major roads to Scotland’ is a complete bribe, and anyway, Scotland doesn’t want England to have easier access to remove even more of Scottish products and resources, (!) Scotland wants to trade with a few other countries beyond these shores like maybe 27 EU friends!
      They must think people are really that stupid to accpet their offering of shiney plastic beads to keep free loading off the backs of the people of Scotland, I don’t bloody think so!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I notice from this “Energy Voice” article, from December 2020, that ‘UK’ oil production is healthy.


    “Exploration drilling activity expected to recover in 2021, says Westwood Global
    Offshore drilling activity on the UK

    Continental Shelf (UKCS) is expected to recover in 2021 with a dozen potential exploration wells identified.”

    In 2019, oil production in the ‘UK’ was around 1.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

    If the article is correct and production does reach 1.77 million boepd in 2022, the ‘UK’ will be very close to being on a par with Norway’daily production rate!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Of course we aren’t too small or stupid. We are just denied access to our natural rights and international human rights law, as Westminster considers itself impervious to law that challenges English legal culture. Such is the essence of British nationalism and internal colonisation.

    What Is Natural Resources Law?

    Click to access 232666262.pdf


  4. “And clearly not stupid”
    Are we sure about that? Are we really sure?
    We’ve allowed our neighbours South of the border to gaslight us and steal from us for hundreds of years.
    That is clearly STUPID.


    1. Perhaps a bit harsh, given our educational and legal systems have historically been tailored to subordinate the Scottish identity to British nationalism. Methodological nationalism is enough to befuddle even the strongest minds, and ‘our’ cultural and media industries survive by perpetuating One Nation myths, that are a form of “gross epistemic violence” against Scotland.

      Cultural Pluralism and Epistemic Injustice


  5. Being lied to and funds secretly and illegally taken is not the stupid. It is illegal and dishonest. Thatcher lied. The accounts were hidden. The subsidised myth exaggerated. Devolution did not come until 20 years too late because of Westminster dishonesty. The McCrone Report kept secret. The lies and illegal wars. The corruption kept secret under the Official Secrets Act. Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years.

    The tide has turned people cannot be fooled any more. Support for the SNP/Independence increasing. Soon Scotland will be Independent.

    Norway raises £80Billion in taxes and revenues.

    Scotland raises £66Billion+. Scotland could be more like Norway. Scotland loses £3Billion in tax evasion. Pays £1Billion over for the Military. Could borrow £5Billion to invest in the economy. It would pay for itself in growth. Scotland has to pay £4Billion in loan repayments not borrowed or spent in Scotland.

    Brexit will cost Scotland even more. Losing the largest nearest market, CAP payments, grants and investment. EU shared Defence costs keeping costs down.

    Scotland invests in Renewables. Norway in electric cars. Far cheaper to run. Scotland pays more for fuel and energy despite being in surplus and nearer the source. Another imposed burden on the Scottish economy. It should be less for parity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was not just Mrs Thatcher. She was the one who spent the money destroying trade unions and manufacturing industry. It was Labour under Wilson and Callaghan who buried the McCrone Report and it was Benn who was the minister when oil started flowing. Labour betrayed the working class in general and behaved like colonial freebooters with regard to Scotland’s oil and gas.

      In 1999, Blair, with the approval of Dewar changed the border trend line in the North Sea to transfer a substantial slice of Scottish territorial waters to English jurisdiction.


  6. The theft of Oil & Gas was obscene. Consider also the resource wastage and the environmental damage. In the mid seventies no pipeline infrastructure for Oil or Gas was in place. No Gas compression was available for reservoir reinjection. You cannot remove Hydrocarbons at pressure from a reservoir without “flash off” – the product at surface is Gas and Oil. The rush for income was so great tankers were used e.g. The SPAR in the Brent Field to offload the Oil to tankers. However the Gas had to be burned off. At night in the North Sea in the mid seventies it was like daylight. The temperature on deck of an Oil platform was unbearable. One third of the Gas Reserves of the North Sea were burned to exploit the Oil.

    The Environmental Impact was colossal. The future energy income reserve loss was colossal.

    a) The Government of the U.K. could have staged license approval until the pipeline and gas compression infrastructure was in place – Norway did.

    b) The Government of the U.K. Could have minimised the impact on global warming by ensuring infrastructure development. The could have minimised the high risk activity of tanker offloading in the North Sea. ( The Well Drilling cuttings disposal using oil based mud is another environment disaster poorly managed)

    c) The tax income per barrel was far higher in Norway.

    d) The Government of the U.K. Used windfall for short term political aims with no provision for future generations.

    Do you think the UK Government will handle renewable energy or our fresh water supplies effectively…they are already drooling at the short term income opportunities…the Future or the Environment has never featured in their plans to date.

    Liked by 1 person

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