All posts by Jason Turflinger

USA-fondet Energy Impact Partners etablerer seg i Norge

Energy Impact Partners forvalter rundt 1,2 milliarder dollar og investerer særlig i teknologiselskaper innen energisektoren.

Nå etablerer det amerikanske venturefondet seg i Norge. EIP skal samarbeide om grønne investeringer med blant andre Nysnø, Trønderenergi, en rekke store europeiske og amerikanske kraftselskaper og Singapores statsfond GIC.

Sammen skal de forsøke å finne frem til teknologiselskaper som kan bidra til å drive det grønne skiftet.

– EIP har allerede kontorer i Köln og London, og nå oppretter de også kontor i Norge, sier leder Siri Kalvig i Nysnø Klimainvesteringer til E24.

Struggling Norwegian Air Shuttle Cancels Deal for Remaining Boeing Jets

Struggling Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA said it has notified Boeing Co. that it will cancel a deal to buy nearly 100 remaining planes, and is suing over losses related to the grounding of the 737-Max and 787 engine issues.

In a statement on the company’s website late Monday, Norwegian Air said there were five Boeing 787 aircraft and 92 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the deal, alongside the GoldCare service agreements linked to the 787 and MAX aircraft. It’s seeking pre-delivery payments and compensation for the Company’s losses related to the grounding of the 737-Max and engine issues on the 787.

Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft have been grounded globally since 12 March 2019. “This has also disrupted NAS’ operations and caused significant losses. In addition Norwegian’s Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-powered 787 aircraft have suffered from long-running reliability issues that have affected reliability and resulted in premature and unplanned maintenance, which has disrupted the Company’s operations and caused further significant losses,” said the company.

Norway to Lift Travel Curbs on European Countries, with Conditions

Norway will lift travel restrictions to and from European countries that meet criteria regarding their COVID-19 situation from July 15, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Thursday.

Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but belongs to the passport-free Schengen travel zone, currently has some of the strictest travel restrictions in Europe.

“We must strike a balance that gives us the most possible safety with the least possible risk of infections,” Solberg told reporters.

From mid-July Norwegians will be able to travel to all countries in the European Economic Area or Schengen without undergoing a ten-day quarantine upon return – but only if these countries respect certain criteria set by Norwegian health authorities.

They include that the number of positive COVID-19 tests done in a country in the last 14 days is below 5% of total tests.

The Life-Changing Magic of Doing Just Enough

It’s a well-known fact among traveled women that the best-looking men on the planet can be observed at the Oslo Airport. Broad of shoulder, lean of shank, with the wellspring of Viking DNA still flowing in Norway. Less widely noted is that Norwegian women run the country. 

Last summer, I left New York for a semester as a lecturer at university in a medium-size fjord town four hours south of Oslo. I’d lived in Manhattan off and mostly on for 20  years, but the thrill had begun to wear thin. The thing that had made New York worth living in was its enticing array of amusements. But invitations to gallery openings and soirees with swells had lately failed to compensate for the city’s darker side, starting with the cost of living, health care, and education for our teens. Some kind of free fall was evident everywhere. Even friends with jobs and money were twitching with anxiety. Subways rang with the World War III-style warning sound of iPhone bad weather alerts. 

And this was all before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

As OPEC+ Cuts Deeper, Norway’s Giant New Field Pumps Flat Out

As OPEC and its allies make their deepest cuts yet to crude production, Norway’s giant Johan Sverdrup oil field is exporting more than ever before.

Crude loadings from the field are set at a record 4.4 million barrels, or 465,000 barrels a day, in August, according to a loading program seen by Bloomberg. That’s compared with 429,000 barrels a day expected in July.

Norway’s state-controlled energy company Equinor ASA pledged to slash production from the Johan Sverdrup field by 20% in June, as the country moved ahead with historic oil-output cuts in cooperation with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. The curbs are aimed at rebalancing the oil market and eliminating a glut.

Foreign Employees that Test Negative for COVID-19 May Work During Quarantine

Foreign employees arriving in Norway must stay in quarantine during the first 10 days after arriving in Norway, unless comprised by other exceptions (e.g. resided and traveling from Nordics excl. Sweden). This normally implies that many foreign employees cannot assume any work before the 10-day quarantine period has past. 

In order to ease the burden for sectors that relies heavily on foreign workers, The Norwegian Government introduced an amended quarantine regulation on 22 June 2020 where employees now may be allowed to work if they test negative on SARS-CoV-2.

Two separate tests required

Two tests are required after arriving in Norway, with a minimum of 48 hours in-between each test, and where the second test at the earliest can be taken at day 5 after arriving in Norway.

The employees must stay in quarantine until the results from the first test is available. If the first test is negative, the employee may work in Norway without quarantine restrictions, but shall stay in quarantine during off-duty/spare time. If the second test also is negative, the employee is fully exempt from all quarantine regulations.

Security & Defense in the Wake of COVID-19: Readiness, Re-capitalization, & Interoperability

AmCham Norway, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, had the pleasure of hosting former SACEUR and retired Four-Star US General Philip M. Breedlove for a highly engaging, thoughtful discussion of NATO’s current global positioning.

General Breedlove’s expertise is grounded in 39 years of service for the US Air Force, where he reached the highest levels of military leadership and became known for leading large-scale, diverse, global operations and gained a reputation for his focus on people and mission accomplishment. He continues his work today as an inspiring leader by building consensus and working bilaterally to shape solutions to global challenges through his position with the Atlantic Council.

Joined by an exclusive group of industry, political and military leaders, General Breedlove addressed three primary assertions before opening the floor to an energetic and in-depth question and answer session.

Assumption 1: NATO is Now More Important Than It Has Ever Been

NATO’s coherence and solidarity are its center of gravity, and must be actively cultivated and defended, according to General Breedlove. He maintains that the alliance needs to stay the course on the changes made across its last three summits to meet coming challenges. These new challenges present themselves in both defense and social policies – and require “NATO’s number one job moving forward” to be “solidarity within the alliance.”

Assumption 2: NATO has Active Adversaries

The idea of asymmetric warfare has been recast within a strategic framework of limited actions, and this in turn has created a multi-sphere battlefield. General Breedlove emphasized the importance of responding to this shift by engaging in multi-sphere defense. He invoked the old military adage “the enemy gets a vote” when speaking to the importance of having the right mindset and actively acknowledging that actors may have different interpretations of peacetime and of rest.

Assumption 3: The North is Changing and Needs to be Addressed

The High North is becoming “more competitive, concerning and combative,” according to General Breedlove, noting his greatest worry as access to the Atlantic. His concern was given perspective as he remembered daily challenges from his time as SACEUR, “How assured is transit of the Atlantic? What would oppose us in the Atlantic?” The new geopolitical actors and a changing physical landscape of the North bring with them a new series of policy and capacity challenges that will have a global impact.

The Path Ahead

After laying out his assertions, General Breedlove was sure to leave participants with some actionable advice for the road ahead, focusing again on cooperation between allies both official and unofficial. “The focus in bilateral agreements in the alliance and in NATO has to be on both defending our allies and partners, and the freedom of navigation of air and sea space around those allies and partners.” He continued, saying that there is much practical work that we need to do to encourage air and maritime integration, including ensuring commercial throughput in both areas.

“If every country produces its own tank, that would be a catastrophe,” he noted, “but if every country uses the same type of tank, that would also be a catastrophe.” The key is balance, collaboration, and communication between not only states, but also companies to innovate and support one another as we move forward.

“We need to understand the challenges to our common operating pictures and look at our ability to defend those commonalities.” He closed, citing his farewell speech from his time at SACEUR, saying “There are three things we need to work on that have not changed: Readiness, Re-capitalization, and Interoperability.”

Norway’s Largest Oil Pipeline Now in Place

STAVANGER — Last week Norway’s largest and longest pipeline, laid by the vessel Saipem Castorone, reached the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea.

Late last week the last pipe of what is now Norway’s longest and largest oil pipeline was installed right next to the riser platform at Johan Sverdrup field. The 36-in. pipeline extends 283 km from the Mongstad oil terminal outside Bergen to the giant field in the North Sea.

Uber Norge-sjefen slutter

Uber-sjef for Norge og Danmark, Carl Edvard Endresen, slutter i selskapet. Til E24 sier han at motstanden Uber har møtt i Norge bidro til valget.

Bildelingstjenesten Uber kom til Norge i 2013, men ble møtt med tøff motstand fra myndighetene, taxinæringen og politiet allerede fra dag én. I 2016 ble selskapet ulovlig i Norge, ifølge politiet. I fjor trakk Uber seg ut i landet på ubestemt tid. Det samme har de gjort i Sverige og Danmark.

I dag har selskapet kun lov til å kjøre “Uber Black  og “Uber XXL” – som i realiteten fungerer som et privatsjåfør – og limousinselskap.

Til E24 innrømmer Uber-sjefen at den tøffe tiden har bidratt til at han nå slutter og går over til stillingen som daglig leder i Axo AS, holdingselskapet for virksomhetene Axo Finans AS og Axo Finans AB.

– Det er klart at tidslinjen spiller litt inn, men nå blir det spennende å komme tilbake til finansverden og til Axo som er utrolig flinke på det de gjør, sier han til avisen.

Keep Government Out of Google Searches

Floyd Abrams is the author of “The Soul of the First Amendment.”

President Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, announced Tuesday that the administration is “taking a look” at regulating Google’s conduct, given Trump’s complaints earlier in the day that the company’s search results suppress conservative views. Kudlow’s statement raises First Amendment concerns of the highest magnitude.

According to the president’s predawn tweets, Google’s supposed bias is revealed by the too “prominent” role it affords to “Fake CNN” while shutting out “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media.” Responding to the criticism, Google said: “When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds. Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”

Google’s fairness is not only an apt topic for public debate but also an essential one. If it were true, as the president claims, that with biased search results the company is “hiding information and news that is good” about his administration, Google would deserve harsh criticism. And if, on the contrary, the president’s tweets were themselves not only unsubstantiated but simply a reflection of the fact that more critical than supportive articles appear in major media, so would he.

That sort of debate is healthy. What is potentially dangerous is the assertion in the president’s tweets that “This is a very serious situation – will be addresses!” and Kudlow’s intimation that a regulatory response was actually being considered. Of course, Trump and Kudlow may not mean it. Or they may mean it and will not pursue it further. But one cannot tell, and so when such statements are made, it is worth responding immediately: any such government action would constitute a particularly egregious violation of the First Amendment.