8 November 2007

Norwegian Oil Fund Shows Way Forward for Scotland

The SNP has obtained figures showing the extent to which Norway’s Government Pension Fund has grown since it was first established.

Set up in 1990 as the Petroleum Fund with an initial payment of £174 million Sterling, the value of the Government Pension Fund Global was at 30 June 2007 1,939bn Norwegian Kroner – the equivalent of a staggering £174 billion Sterling at current prices. By 2010, the fund value is forecast to have spiralled to a staggering 2856.4bn NOK – or £257 bn Sterling at today’s prices.

Commenting local MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“These figures are simply extraordinary. From a seedcorn investment equivalent to just £174 million pounds in the 1990’s – made almost 20 years after the first oil started flowing ashore - Norway’s careful husbandry of her oil and gas resources has seen the national fund grow in value a thousand-fold.

“Even Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks recognised recently that the Norwegian approach was the correct one. However, with oil prices currently nudging US $100 per barrel and the resulting revenues which are flooding into Treasury coffers, now is exactly the time to start investing this extraordinary windfall for future generations.

“The last 30 years represent a sad story of missed opportunities and squandered resources. By seizing the initiative and establishing a Fund for Future Generations, instead of repeating the failures of successive UK governments over the past 30 years, Scotland can begin to mirror the successes of our neighbour across the North Sea."


Note to Editors: In an interview with the Guardian from 27 October 2007, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: ‘If you could replay history, the idea as in Norway of building up a national [oil] fund is actually quite an attractive one.

Stewart Stevenson
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