Norway budget confirms SWF assets still smaller than oil left in seabed

Norway’s government has today estimated that the value of assets held by the country’s so-called oil fund are less than the estimated value of reserves in the country’s continental shelf territory.

The budget estimates total assets in the petroleum industry at NOK4trn (€0.51trn), of which the state’s share is about NOK3.5trn (€0.45trn).

This means that Norway still has more assets at the bottom of the sea than the value of foreign investments made through its sovereign wealth fund, the Pension Fund Global, often referred to as the ‘oil fund’.

The value of these foreign investments is estimated at NOK3.115trn (€0.4trn), according to the budget.

But the value of oil assets presented today do not include the massive find announced over the summer, writes Dagens Næringsliv, covering today’s budget.

Officially recognised reserves will only be updated in the New Year, when the  Avaldsnes/Aldous site in the North Sea – the country’s biggest find in a quarter of a century – and the Skrugard find in the Barents Sea are included in the figures. The paper notes that the government’s own estimates published today are that an additional 100-200m cubic meters of oil will be reclassifed as recognised reserves.

However, finance minister Sigbjørn Johnsen specifically noted that with an ageing population, Norway’s continued success as an economy would rely on people working longer rather than resting on the country’s oil wealth.



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