Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil

FT: The real achievement, in other words, was not finding oil but coping with its discovery. Norway faced the same dilemma as every other new oil producer with no experience of the industry: if you rely too much on private foreign companies, too little of the oil wealth benefits the country in the form of government revenue or economic development; if you go too far in the other direction, you risk a bloated, politicised oil sector that evades both accountability to the people and competitive pressures to be efficient... A balance had to be struck. Al-Kasim recalls now that one thing was clear in the early 1970s: Norway would join an international trend towards significant state participation in the oil sector... This created the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the oil industry regulator, and Statoil, the national oil company...

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