The Norwegian Petroleum Regulatory Framework and the Transition to Green Energy
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The purpose of this article is to critically explore the history of the Norwegian petroleum regulatory framework to reveal the main legal innovations that spurred the creation of an original model focused on the principles of sustainability and environmental protection. I analyse how these principles facilitated the transition process from reliance on fossil fuels to the development of renewable sources of energy. After the discovery of oil, Norway, though inexperienced in petroleum exploration and exploitation, was able to coin a framework that kept control over the oil industry in the state’s hands. The “go slow” policy and the creation of the national company were the main instruments to maintain a strong bargaining power in relation to big multinational oil companies. Norway enacted 10 “oil commandments” which formed the basis for its oil constitutionalism. This led to the principles of sustainability and environmental protection being codified in article 112 of the constitution in 1992 (as former Art 110 b). I will show how these unique conditions aided the transition to renewable sources of energy and compelled the national oil company, Statoil (now Equinor ASA), to invest and innovate in the field.
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