The Norwegian oil policy is regarded by many as the only successful example where a country, after discovering oil, has built a competent national oil industry, yet still has managed to maintain an egalitarian welfare state. Following the largest environmental disaster in recent history, the Deepwater Horizon accident, Norway’s apparent ability to master the safety and environmental challenges has received international attention.
Does Norway deserve such praise? Do other nations really have anything to learn from the Norwegian oil experience? What exactly is the Norwegian oil experience? Historian Helge Ryggvik (dr.philos.) is employed at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo. He is the author of several other works on oil related issues.