Oil fund blossoms

Rising oil prices can bring Norway an additional NOK 30-40 (USD 4.5-6) billion in income this year.

Rising oil prices can bring Norway an additional NOK 30-40 (USD 4.5-6) billion in income this year. This autumn the State Petroleum Fund, the government-controlled fund that invests part of the oil trade surplus for the country's citizens, is expected to go over the NOK 1,000 (USD 149) billion mark.

Continuing instability in the Middle East can push Norway's fortunes even higher, but at home there will be little short-term bonus for the average citizen. Higher gas prices will hit the Norwegian traveler and driver.

Cautious estimates of future increased oil prices give between NOK 40-50 billion more than expected for state coffers this year, and the petroleum fund should hit the NOK 1,000 billion mark several months earlier than planned.

"If nothing unexpected happens in the oil market we believe the oil price this year will stay over 30 dollars per barrel on average. If there are several serious terror actions in the Middle East or other unexpected events the price can be much higher than that," said Statoil's special oil market adviser Tor Kartevold.

Kartevold believes between six to eight dollars of the recent high price of USD 38 per barrel is directly attributed to the recent terrorist attack in Saudi-Arabia.