Statoil – between Nationalisation, Globalisation and Europeanisation

This paper accounts for national regulation of the oil sector in Norway. It focuses on the manner in which Statoil has met the challenges from Europeanization and globalisation. One of the observations is that the Norwegian regulatory model has shown a marked resilience towards international reform, yet has adapted incrementally to these developments.

ARENA Working Paper 34/2002 (html)

Dag Harald Claes

In Norway Statoil has been a shining example of state regulation and participation in industrial and economic activities. The company was established as an operative and fully state owned company, and it soon entered into competition with the large international oil companies, the foremost symbol of international capitalism. From a pro-state perspective, Statoil’s role in the Norwegian petroleum sector was a success story during the seventies. As pointed out in the chapter the external (and internal) conditions were favourable during this decade. The paper then goes on to discuss why and how this state regulatory model was challenged from the early eighties and onwards. The challenges can all be related to different aspects of ‘globalisation’: spread of political ideology, volatility of commodity prices, the role of international organisation, and the changing structure of international industries and multinational companies. Although Statoil was partly privatised in 2001, the core elements of the model regulating the Norwegian oil sector are intact. The model has been reformed, but it still provides the state with a dominant role both in regulating and operating the Norwegian oil sector. The narrative provided is thus in need of explaining stability as much as change.

Tags: Europeanization, energy policy, regulatory politics
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM