Isn’t it good, Norwegian oil policy?


Thomas Mulcair invoked Norway in May and Christy Clark praised Norway’s approach to pipeline safety last month. Now, the Tyee has dispatched Mitchell Anderson to study the country’s oil policy.

Could the Norwegian model work here? Would industry and investment flee Canada if we were to demand greater oversight and resource rents? This view seems a common refrain from many pundits and politicians, and was a central issue in the last Alberta election. Yet capital flight has never been a problem in Norway. More foreign petroleum companies than ever are lining up to invest billions, while submitting to levels of government oversight and taxation unheard of in Canada.

In fact these conditions seem attractive to investors since from the point of view of the Norwegian population, the development their oil industry has been a consensual act. This national buy-in by the taxpayers of Norway builds investor certainty, in contrast to the unpredictable pitched battles ongoing here in Canada.


Isn’t it good, Norwegian oil policy?

  1. If AB raised royalty rates, SK could also. Why compete, when we could collaborate? It’s not a monopoly or price fixing if governments do it for the people ;-)

  2. It’s long been stated that one of the reasons the Western world is a more appealing place for oil companies to operate is the stability. Citizen acceptance or “buy-in” is an important part of that stability. As North American concerns about environmental damage have increased, our buy-in has lessened, raising the risk-cost of operating in Canada.

    Our government, it seems, has decided that the best way to balance that out isn’t by taking steps to lower that risk, but rather by simply lowering all other impediments.

    Unfortunately, as usual with this government, they haven’t thought this through to see the inevitable consequences: even less citizen acceptance of the oil industry’s activities. Thus, their attempts will cause the risk-cost to elevate faster than they can bring impediments down and remain in power. People like Wiebo Ludwig are the end result of ignoring the citizenry, and that will cause the energy industry to balk no matter how little legislation they have restricting them.

    What needs to happen is that our government needs to realize that the economy stems from, and ultimately is at the mercy of, the citizens. Not the corporations, and certainly not the government.

    • Very good post.

  3. Good article you quoted there. Hopefully there are more articles to follow this topic, looking at Norwegian model and see what can be learnt from it.

  4. The difference is the attitude in Norway. They don’t have one.

    Alberta is all-over ‘tude.

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