Should Canada adopt the same energy model that made Norwegian citizens theoretical millionaires?
What is Norway’s energy model?
To understand Norway’s energy model, it’s helpful to go back to 1962, when excitement ignited about the possibility of oil in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). A year later, Norway claimed sovereignty over the NCS and deemed any natural resource found there the property of the government. This initial government response forms the basis of the very different philosophies between Norway and Canada on natural resource ownership. While Norway claims ownership over oil in its land, Canada assumes that any oil in the ground belongs to the companies that extract it.
The disparate philosophies of the role of government in the oil industry seem to be at the crux of Norway and Canada’s very different paths in the industry. In 1972 the Norwegian government established its own oil company, Statoil, which was awarded 50% of all petroleum production licenses. (Currently the government owns 67% of Statoil, and the other 33% is public ownership.)