State authorities intend privatise about 30 percent of the untapped oil and gas resources off Norway that are owned directly by the state, according to NRK, the national broadcasting system.
The Norwegian state - through the State's Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) - is by far the largest single owner of petroleum reserves on the continental shelf, with license stakes in most of the fields in operation or under development. NRK reported that state authorities next month will propose transferring 20 percent of the SDFI to Statoil and an additional 10 percent to Norsk Hydro and the other companies active in Norwegian waters. Norsk Hydro has insisted that it be treated the same as Statoil, but that apparently will not be the case. For non-Norwegian companies, it was the first solid indication that they will be offered a slice of the pie.