Statoil privatisation hits snag

The government still plans to introduce a bill for the partial privatisation of Statoil this Friday, but officials concede they may have to put it off until next week.

The ruling Labour Party is divided over the interpretation of the party conference's own resolution earlier this fall on the extent and nature of Statoil's privatisation and the proposed sale of oil resources now owned directly by the state. Petroleum and Energy Minister Olav Axelsen has been at pains to create a wide-ranging coalition in the Parliament in support of the reform. The matter is not expected to be finally resolved until the Parliament votes sometime in the spring.