Oslo, Norway– Norway, Europe’s largest producer of oil and gas, plays a pivotal role in the global energy landscape. In the last ten years the country has increased its oil and gas licensing exponentially, making it Europe’s most aggressive explorer. The oil and gas industry is one of Norway’s most significant economic sectors, employing approximately 60,000 people directly and 96,000 people indirectly.
Revealing the intricate web of relationships and connections within the Norwegian oil and gas sector is essential for phasing out oil and gas in Norway. Oil Change International’s new comprehensive power mapping project exposes for the first time the potential influence of oil and gas interests on various stakeholders through formal connections and found oil and gas interests are connected with trade unions, business, industry organizations, and political parties.
Summary and Key Findings:
Utilizing Social Network Analysis (SNA), the study aimed to comprehensively map the influence of oil and gas interests in Norway. Key findings from the report for the period 2021-2022 are as follows:
- A relatively small number of oil- and gas interests has an impressive reach: 21% of individuals within a condensed network of 1000 highly interconnected organizations in Norwegian society are connected to oil and gas interests
- When the overall network was condensed to the top 100 connected organizations in Norway, the share of individuals connected to oil and gas interests increased to 25%, showing they are at the core of the most connected organizations in the network..
- The top most connected individual in Norwegian society is an oil and gas interest. Out of the 100 most well-connected individuals in the network, 13 were associated with oil and gas interests, underscoring their influence within Norwegian society.
- The organization that stands out the most is the oil and gas lobby forum KonKraft, which has an influential network to many different sectors. They were one of the main actors lobbying for the $10.8 billion tax breaks for the oil and gas industry in Norway after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study’s findings shed light on the intricate web of connections within Norway’s oil and gas sector, offering transparency on how the industry operates and its potential influence on the nation. It is particularly significant given the global imperative to transition away from fossil fuels, including oil and gas.
Silje Lundberg, Oil Change International Senior Campaigner, said:
“This project maps the formal network of the Norwegian oil and gas industry for the first time, and shows just how well connected the industry is, spanning across so many different sectors. But – we would be foolish to think that their influence stops there. There are also many informal ties between politics and the oil and gas industry that influence Norway’s political and social landscapes. .
“We are at a crossroads: Norway, like the rest of the world, must transition away from oil and gas. Exposing the intricate relationships and connections among Norwegian oil and gas interests is a critical step in eliminating oil and gas in Norway’s future.”
Notes to the editor:
- The analysis was conducted in collaboration with Oil Change International and Analyse & Tall and is based on data from the Brønnøysund Register, Government and Parliament, participation in public councils, commissions and committees and cooperation arenas, network clusters etc (KonKraft). The complete report, detailing the methodology and findings, can be accessed here.
- The analysis is based on data from the Brønnøysund Register, Government and Parliament, participation in public councils, commissions and committees and cooperation arenas, network clusters etc (KonKraft). Here we use the number of connections one has through participation in organizations as a proxy for power influence.