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Average basic salaries for full-time employees in Norway’s oil and gas extraction sector inched up by 0.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter, compared to a 0.7-percent quarterly increase in the third quarter last year, the country’s statistics office said on Tuesday.
Average basic salaries in manufacturing increased by 0.9 percent in the third quarter this year compared to the previous quarter, the government’s preliminary figures show.
The oil and gas industry, Norway’s largest industry, accounted for around 40 percent of the total value of Norway’s exports last year. Government figures show that Norway supplied more than 20 percent of the EU’s gas demand in 2015. In addition, Norway is the world’s third largest gas exporter.
However, this year Norway has been feeling the sting of low oil prices and government revenues have been declining, largely due to lower revenues from oil extraction.
Earlier this month, the official statistics showed that total government revenues in the third quarter dropped by 5.1 percent versus the third quarter of last year. At the same time, total expenditure rose by 7.5 percent. All this resulted in a fiscal deficit equal to US$2.22 billion (19 billion Norwegian kroner). The third quarter was the second consecutive quarter in which Norway has booked a fiscal deficit, the statistics office said.
In what looks like a paradox, this past summer, the Norwegian government announced plans to use profits from oil and gas operations to fund clean energy projects.
The electric car market will be one of the sectors to benefit from the new program as “lucrative” subsidies from the country’s massive $890 billion sovereign wealth fund will be used to ensure Norway becomes carbon neutral by 2030. The fund also plans to ban gasoline-fueled vehicles and assist impoverished countries in ramping up their environmental efforts, according to officials.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.