Category: Business News
For establishment politicians in Norway, discussing changes to the country’s oil policies is akin to swearing in church.
That’s what happened this week, when the Labor Party’s top energy lawmaker, said he was open to debating taxes and incentives for oil companies, including a lucrative exploration cash refund. Labor is the biggest opposition party and the comments carry extra weight because the group is backed by powerful oil worker unions and has been an industry ally since Norway started producing petroleum in the 1970s.
Even if Labor’s Espen Barth Eide, a former foreign minister, later downplayed his comments, saying in an interview that no imminent changes are planned, Norway’s top oil lobbyist called the situation “very serious” and demanded a clarification from the party leadership.
“The oil industry is extremely vulnerable to uncertainty,” said Karl Eirik Schjott-Pedersen, the head of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, and also a former Labor Party minister. “Investors aren’t just looking at the current term. Uncertainty about what might come from future governments will also have an impact on their investments.”
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Published: July 3, 2020