Natural gas is now Norway’s largest export product. In course of the twelve last months, Norway has exported natural gas for NOK 232 billion (€25.2 billion) and oil for NOK 216 billion (€23.4 billion), NRK writes, citing Dagens Næringsliv.
The reason for this is tied to the sharp fall in oil prices, which has also led to job losses and the shutdown of the only oil company headquarter located in Northern Norway.
“I hadn’t believed revenues from gas would be higher than oil, to be honest,” Thina M. Saltvedt, oil analyst at Nordea, told Dagens Næringsliv. “It has occurred surprisingly fast. And it’s almost entirely because of price. No one expected the price of oil would fall so much and keep lying down there.”
North Energy moves out of the north
The only oil company based with a head office in the Barents Region, North Energy, has had to adopt extensive reductions including closing of offices and reducing operating costs.
Earlier this year, the company moved its headquarter from Alta in Norway’s northernmost county to Tromsø, and this week it was decided to close the office in Tromsø, as well as another office in Stavanger, and move the whole administration to Oslo.
One year ago, North Energy had 43 employees, half of them working in Alta. The company has now cut down the work force to only 25 people.
“We can’t any longer defend today’s situation having several offices. We have therefore decided to co-locate all activities in Oslo. This will implicate further cuts in staff,” Head of the board Anders Onarheim says according to Sysla.no.
North Energy has a special focus on participating in developments in the northern part of the Norwegian continental shelf; the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. The company has not yet had any commercial success, and posted a net loss of NOK 23 million (€3.7 million) for the second quarter of 2015, the company says in a press release.