Norway's oil and gas sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy and the financing of the Norwegian welfare state, accounting for 14% of the government's revenue in 2021.
Norway has supported the EITI since its inception and hosts the International Secretariat in Oslo. Widely lauded as a success story in the management of oil wealth, Norway was the first OECD country to implement the EITI. In light of Norway’s high level of systematic disclosure of data, the country implements the EITI Standard under an adapted implementation framework.
Economic contribution of the extractive industries
- to government revenues
- to exports
- to GDP
- to employment
Timely, comprehensive and reliable information is published through the government’s Norwegian Petroleum website and in companies’ country-by-country reports. Accordingly, the EITI Board agreed that standalone EITI Reports were no longer necessary. Norway subsequently disbanded its EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group. Norway safeguards transparency and inclusive governance through a range of channels open to industry and civil society, including annual stakeholder meetings that address progress with EITI implementation.
Norway’s oil and gas sector is mainly governed by the Petroleum Act. It is mainly regulated by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE), which manages the state’s ownership interests and the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) in the sector. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), which operates under the MPE, exercises administrative authority over petroleum exploration and production on the Norwegian continental shelf and has powers to adopt regulations and make decisions under the petroleum legislation.
The Norwegian petroleum taxation system is based on the rules for ordinary company taxation and are set out in the Petroleum Taxation Act (Act of 13 June 1975 No. 35 relating to the taxation of subsea petroleum deposits, etc). Taxes are collected by the Petroleum Tax Office of the Norwegian Tax Administration under the Ministry of Finance.
Production licenses are awarded by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in numbered licensing rounds covering frontier areas, or by yearly Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA). The government maintains an online register of production licenses, which includes a complete history for each license. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate also publishes maps and datasets related to petroleum activities.
The Norwegian state owns holdings in several oil and gas fields, pipelines and onshore facilities through the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) system. For oil and gas fields, the proportion is determined when production licences are awarded, and varies from field to field. As one of several owners, the government covers its share of investments and costs, and receives a corresponding share of the income from production licences.
In 2021, Norway enacted legislation to establish a public beneficial ownership registry, which applies to all companies that apply for or hold a participating interest in exploration or production oil, gas or mining licenses. As of 1 November 2021, Norwegian enterprises must follow the provisions set out in the Beneficial Owners Act. The register is in development and is to be maintained by the Norwegian Enterprise Register (Brønnøysundregistrene).
The Norwegian state secures a large share of petroleum revenues through taxation and the system known as the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI). The Norwegian state owns 67% of the shares in Equinor and receives dividends in the same way as other shareholders.
Government revenues from petroleum activities are transferred to the Government Pension Fund Global, which is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. Petroleum revenues are phased into the economy gradually and in accordance with the fiscal rule that over time, government spending must not use any of the fund’s capital, only its expected real return – currently estimated at 3%. The fiscal rule also provides for petroleum revenue spending to be increased in economic downturns and decreased in economic upturns.
Norway EITI operates under adapted implementation. As such, Norway does not have a multi-stakeholder group but holds annual stakeholder consultations that include a broad representation from industry and civil society. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) hosts the EITI national secretariat.
Government announces commitment to join the EITI
Candidature application is submitted
Multi-stakeholder group is formed
2008 EITI Report published
Designated as compliant
2009 EITI Report published
2010 EITI Report published
2011 EITI Report published
2012 EITI Report published
2013 EITI Report published
2014 EITI Report published
2015 EITI Report published
EITI Board accepts Norway’s application for adapted implementation
Norway was found to have made satisfactory progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard in February 2019, following its second Validation. Norway fully addressed all of the corrective actions identified in its previous Validation.
In June 2021, the EITI Board agreed that Norway had made “inadequate progress” in implementing the EITI’s requirement on beneficial ownership disclosure. Progress will be assessed in Norway’s next Validation expected to commence in October 2022.