How Norway and oil are connected and how oil affects Norway’s economy and politics

How Norway and oil are connected and how oil affects Norway’s economy and politics.
How oil trade began in Norway and why it is important.

Since 1960s, oil has been a significant component of Norway’s economy. Norway is

today the third biggest oil exporter worldwide and the 8th largest oil producer. She produces

roughly 3 million barrels of oil daily. Norway owns some of the world’s largest potentially

exploitable coal reserves which are situated beneath the Norwegian Continental shelf on earth.

She is the largest oil producer in Western Europe (, 2010, para 1). In

May 1963, Norway claimed sovereign n rights over natural resources in its zone of the North

Sea. Exploration began in 19th July 1966 when Ocean Traveler drilled its first hole. In the

beginning, exploration was unsuccessful until when Ocean Viking discovered oil on August 21,

1969. By early 1970, it was apparent there were immense oil and gas stocks in the North Sea. In

1969, Phillips Petroleum found huge oil resources in the Ekofisk field which was defined as part

of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (Grytten, 2010, para 30). To a large extent, Norway’s high

economic growth rate during the last three decades of the twentieth century has been a result of

the oil sector. At the dawn of the new millennium, Norway was at the top of the global GDP per

capita courtesy of the oil sector.

There is certainly a unique relationship between Norway and oil. Her extraordinary success

during the last three decades has been largely attributed to her oil reserves in North Sea. Within a

short time since the discovery of oil in 1960s, she has outclassed other oil producers and clearly

shunned the Dutch diseases. Furthermore, contrary to most t commodity-oriented economies she

has clearly escaped what economist call the ‘resource curse’.


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