Norway set up new oil regulator

Norway's Oil and Energy Ministry is setting up a new company to manage the state's giant stake in the country's offshore oil assetts. According to the Scotsman newspaper, the new company will be called Petoro and will control what is called the State Direct Financial Interest (SDFI), part of which is being sold off to various oil companies. 6.5 percent of the SDFI will go to Norsk Hydro which is also partly state owned. Petoro's role will be to ensure that disposals are smooth. The SDFI was formed in the 1960's by the Norwegian government to ensure a fair deal for the country from multinational oil companies. It was prompted after a company offered just one million US dollars to take control of all of Norway's offshore oil reserves. Today SDFI holds 5.1 billion barrels of oil, 50 trillion cubic feet of gas but the aim of selling 20% of the oil shelf is to make Norweigan oil more attractive to multinationals.