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2018-02-07 07:45:00

NORWAY DIVESTS OIL

NORWAY DIVESTS OIL

BLOOMBERG - Norway's $1.1 trillion wealth fund shocked the world last year when it announced a plan to divest all its oil and gas stocks, worth $35 billion at the time.

As the government and parliament prepare to give their responses, a former senior economic adviser who used to work for the fund says the investing giant shouldn't waste any time and start selling now.

"If Norges Bank sincerely believes its advice, it should probably consider using the room for active positions to immediately, but gradually, decrease its oil and gas holdings," said Espen Henriksen, who now works as an associate professor at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo.

The fund's plan to exit oil is based on a desire to improve the country's risk exposure, and not on ethical considerations. As western Europe's biggest oil and gas producer, Norway gets about 50 percent of its goods exports from its commodities. But with the rapid growth of renewable energies, there's speculation that demand for petroleum is close to peaking, raising the risk of investing in companies that produce the fuels.

The matter is being analyzed by the Finance Ministry, which is due to release a white paper this spring. The government will then give its opinion in the second half of the year before parliament decides. The fund, which is part of the central bank, gets its investment guidelines from government.

By going public with its wishes, the fund has put pressure on the government. But the tactic could backfire.

Henriksen says the fund manager's move "risks creating an unfortunate precedent by giving the asset manager more political power to define its mandate."

The ruling Conservatives are "open" to a change in the index, but stress the need for a thorough analysis, said Mudassar Kapur, a Conservative member of parliament's Finance Committee. The Conservatives head a three-party minority government.

But a majority on the committee say the 2014 oil-price shock revealed vulnerabilities in Norway's economy and want the ministry to go over the proposal as quickly as possible. Opposition parties in 2015 forced through a divestment of shares in coal companies against the government's wishes.

"Our experience with the management of the oil fund is that to a large extent we've had to secure decisions in parliament against the Finance Ministry's advice," said Kari Elisabeth Kaski, a Socialist Left lawmaker on the Finance Committee. "I wouldn't be surprised if this is what happens this time around as well."

Meanwhile, the planned initial public offering of shares in Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's oil behemoth, has added another ripple to the debate. The fund typically invests in large IPOs ahead of time, but may sit this one out, given its views on oil exposure.

According to Kaski, Aramco makes the debate more "relevant."

At the Finance Ministry, State Secretary Marianne Groth says the matter will be "treated in a thorough and good manner."

Thomas Sevang, a spokesman for the fund, declined to comment before the Finance Ministry has given its view. The fund has previously said any divestment of oil and gas companies would take place over many years.

But the investor has some leeway to act on its own, provided its return doesn't deviate more than 1.25 percentage point from the return of its benchmark. And as the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, it's become adept at covering its tracks when it trades shares to avoid being front-run.

"I'm confident that this will be handled in a professional manner, and that we don't end up in a situation where we lose money on clumsiness," Henriksen said.

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Earlier:

 W.Europe
2018, January, 31, 10:40:00

NORWAY'S OIL BOOM

BLOOMBERG - With crude back at $70 a barrel, and a petroleum industry that cut costs to the bone after the oil crash, the stage is now set for another boom. But the good times could hamper Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s main aim of moving the economy away from a reliance on oil. As optimism now returns to the economy, signs of real progress on that project are few.

 

 W.Europe
2018, January, 24, 11:30:00

NORWAY'S OIL UP OF 26 TBD

NPD - Preliminary production figures for December 2017 show an average daily production of 1 932 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 26 000 barrels per day compared to November.

 

 W.Europe
2018, January, 12, 12:45:00

NORWAY'S OIL & GAS WILL UP

NPD - The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s production forecast up to 2022 shows an increase from 2020, when Johan Sverdrup has come on stream. Total production of oil and gas in 2022 is estimated to be close to the record‐breaking year 2004. Gas will then account for about one‐half of the production.

 

 W.Europe
2018, January, 4, 12:20:00

NORWAY'S GAS RECORD

REUTERS - Norway’s pipeline gas exports to Europe hit a record high in 2017, exceeding the previous year by almost 7 percent, preliminary data from the country’s offshore gas systems operator Gassco showed on Tuesday.

 

 W.Europe
2018, January, 3, 15:35:00

NORWAY'S OIL PROBLEMS

BLOOMBERG - Norway’s oil production has been halved since a 2000 peak. While natural-gas output has surged, total production is forecast to fall again in the middle of the next decade. A flurry of investment decisions at the end of last year hides a painful truth: after Statoil’s $6 billion Johan Castberg oil field starts production in the Barents in 2022, the project pipeline is scant.

 

 W.Europe
2017, December, 20, 19:15:00

NORWAY'S PRODUCTION DOWN 102 TBD

NPD - Preliminary production figures for November 2017 show an average daily production of 1 813 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is a decrease of 102 000 barrels per day compared to October.

 

 W.Europe
2017, November, 20, 09:00:00

NORWAY SELLS OIL & GAS

Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its coal stocks.

 

 

 

Tags: NORWAY, OIL, GAS, INVESTMENT

Chronicle:

NORWAY DIVESTS OIL
2018, August, 17, 11:30:00

U.S. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UP 0.1%

U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

NORWAY DIVESTS OIL
2018, August, 17, 11:25:00

NORWAY'S PETROLEUM PRODUCTION: 1.911 MBD

NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.

NORWAY DIVESTS OIL
2018, August, 17, 11:20:00

GAZPROM NEFT NET PROFIT UP TO 49.6%

GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.

NORWAY DIVESTS OIL
2018, August, 15, 11:10:00

OIL PRICE: NEAR $72

REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.

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