Norway under fire for making record billions from gas and oil revenues
With requests for Oslo to "give away" the profits, the country vows to give NOK 75 billion (more than $7 billion) in both civil and military aid to Ukraine in the next 5 years.
Norway has been facing criticism of profiteering from its wide range of oil-receiving customers, such as Germany, Poland, and the EU as a whole.
According to Statistics Norway (SSB), as one of the world's largest energy resources exporters, the country earned record oil and gas revenues in 2022 following the war in Ukraine and sanctions that hiked energy prices. The Nordic country reaped a whopping NOK 1.5 trillion ($140 billion) in revenues from oil and gas - the highest ever - nearly three times the NOK 498 billion ($48 billion) earned in 2021.
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Increased export revenues from energy resulted in a humongous trade balance surplus of nearly $162 million in 2022, and the current surplus approximately tripled compared to 2021.
Gas profits are Ukraine profits
With requests for Oslo to "give away" the massive profits from the war, the country vowed to give NOK 75 billion (more than $7 billion) in both civil and military aid to Ukraine over the next five years.
Last month, US journalist Seymour Hersh indicated that the Nord Stream pipeline explosions were the work of the US and Norway but authorities from both sides denied involvement.
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The way in which the Nordic nation earns its revenues goes as follows: it imposes taxes on oil companies, its direct holdings in oil and gas fields alongside infrastructure, and earns it from dividends paid by the energy giant Equinor (formerly Statoil), in which it holds a 67% share.
Discovered in the 1960s, the North Sea oil and gas reserves serve as pillars of the Norwegian economy, but with peak production, disagreements have risen over the exploration in the Arctic's environment which was backed by international alarm over the usage of fossil fuels and their devastating impact on climate change.
Three campaign groups have been legally challenging the UK government over its plans to grant 130 new licenses for North Sea oil and gas exploration and approve a new coal mine in Cumbria as of February - the country's first in more than 30 years.
Norway's own energy giant Equinor launched a campaign of sustainable projects centering on alternative energy sources such as wind power which led to accusations of "greenwashing." Hundreds of companies and firms in various fields have come under fire for promoting eco-friendly projects when research reports show that such projects are "greenwashing" in disguise.