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The Norwegian oil experience: a toolbox for managing natural resources?

category national | miscellaneous | news report author Wednesday April 13, 2011 11:58author by Laurence Cox - NUI Maynooth Report this post to the editors

What can Ireland learn from Norway about how to deal with the energy multinationals and how to use natural resources for the good of all?

Norway is often seen as a model example of how to manage natural resources such as oil and gas for the benefit of the whole society rather than the profit of a few. From a relatively marginal European country, which only became independent in the early twentieth century, Norway has become a leading welfare state and one of the world's less unequal societies.

How did Norway assert ownership and control over its offshore gas and oil in the teeth of some of the world's largest countries? How did it secure the necessary technological know-how to face the new challenges? How did it manage to ensure that the wealth generated was used for the good of the whole society rather than lining the pockets of a handful? And what happened afterwards - how did Statoil go from being a central part of the project of Norwegian development to just another multinational, seeking quick and cheap returns from small corrupt countries overseas rather than developing the local industry to face the new challenges of the 21st century?

Helge Ryggvik, Norway's leading critical expert on the history and politics of the oil and gas industry, wrote "The Norwegian oil experience: a toolbox for managing natural resources?" for trade unionists, NGOs, social movement activists and others from countries which are now facing the challenge of dealing with the energy multinationals.

The pamphlet, just published in Ireland by Irish Left Review, can be read or downloaded free at the address below.

Related Link: http://www.irishleftreview.org/2011/04/12/norwegian-oil-experience-toolbox-managing-resources/
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