In 2017, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global – also known as the Oil Fund – proposed a complete divestment of oil and gas shares from its massive portfolio. Last week, the Norwegian government partially approved that request, allowing the Fund to exclude 134 upstream companies from the wealth fund. Players like Anadarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy, CNOOC, Premier Oil, Soco International and Tullow Oil will now no longer receive any investment from the Fund. That might seem like an inconsequential move, but it isn’t. With over US$1 trillion in assets – the Fund is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world – it is a major market-shifting move.
Estimates suggest that the government directive will require the Oil Fund to sell some US$7.5 billion in stocks over an undefined period. Shares in the affected companies plunged after the announcement. The reaction is understandable. The Oil Fund holds over 1.3% of all global stocks and shares, including 2.3% of all European stocks. It holds stakes as large as of 2.4% of Royal Dutch Shell and 2.3% of BP, and has long been seen as a major investor and stabilising force in the energy sector.
It is this impression that the Fund is trying to change. Established in 1990 to invest surplus revenues of the booming Norwegian petroleum sector, prudent management has seen its value grow to some US$200,000 per Norwegian citizen today. Its value exceeds all other sovereign wealth funds, including those of China and Singapore. Energy shares – specifically oil and gas firms – have long been a major target for investment due to high returns and bumper dividends. But in 2017, the Fund recommended phasing out oil exploration from its ‘investment universe’. At the time, this was interpreted as yielding to pressure from environmental lobbies, but the Fund has made it clear that the move is for economic reasons.
Put simply, the Fund wants to move away from ‘putting all its eggs in one basket’. Income from Norway’s vast upstream industry – it is the largest producing country in Western Europe – funds the country’s welfare state and pays into the Fund. It has ethical standards – avoiding, for example, investment in tobacco firms – but has concluded that devoting a significant amount of its assets to oil and gas savings presents a double risk. During the good times, when crude prices are high and energy stocks booming, it is a boon. But during a downturn or a crash, it is a major risk. With typical Scandinavian restraint and prudence, the Fund has decided that it is best to minimise that risk by pouring its money into areas that run counter-cyclical to the energy industry.
However, the retreat is just partial. Exempt from the divestment will be oil and gas firms with significant renewable energy divisions – which include supermajors like Shell, BP and Total. This is touted as allowing the Fund to ride the crest of the renewable energy wave, but also manages to neatly fit into the image that Norway wants to project: balancing a major industry with being a responsible environmental steward. It’s the same reason why Equinor – in which the Fund holds a 67% stake – changed its name from Statoil, to project a broader spectrum of business away from oil into emerging energies like wind and solar. Because, as the Fund’s objective states, one day the oil will run out. But its value will carry on for future generations.
The Norway Oil Fund in a Nutshell
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The global oilfield scale inhibitor market was valued at USD 509.4 Million in 2014 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.40% between 2015 and 2020. Factors driving the market of oilfield scale inhibitor include increasing demand from the oil and gas industry, wide availability of scale inhibitors, rising demand for biodegradable and environment-compatible scale inhibitors, and so on.
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The oilfield scale inhibitor market is experiencing strong growth and is mainly driven by regions, such as RoW, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Considerable amount of investments are made by different market players to serve the end-user applications of scale inhibitors. The global market is segmented into major geographic regions, such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW). The market has also been segmented on the basis of type. On the basis of type of scale inhibitors, the market is sub-divided into phosphonates, carboxylate/acrylate, sulfonates, and others.
Carboxylate/acrylic are the most common type of oilfield scale inhibitor
Among the various types of scale inhibitors, the carboxylate/acrylate type holds the largest share in the oilfield scale inhibitor market. This large share is attributed to the increasing usage of this type of scale inhibitors compared to the other types. Carboxylate/acrylate meets the legislation requirement, abiding environmental norms due to the absence of phosphorus. Carboxylate/acrylate scale inhibitors are used in artificial cooling water systems, heat exchangers, and boilers.
RoW, which includes the Middle-East, Africa, and South America, is the most dominant region in the global oilfield scale inhibitor market
The RoW oilfield scale inhibitor market accounted for the largest share of the global oilfield scale inhibitor market, in terms of value, in 2014. This dominance is expected to continue till 2020 due to increased oil and gas activities in this region. The Middle-East, Africa, and South America have abundant proven oil and gas reserves, which will enable the rapid growth of the oilfield scale inhibitor market in these regions. Among the regions in RoW, Africa’s oilfield scale inhibitor market has the highest prospect for growth. Africa has a huge amount of proven oil reserves and is one of the leading oil producing region in the World. But political unrest coupled with lack of proper infrastructures may negatively affect oil and gas activities in this region.
Major players in this market are The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), BASF SE (Germany), AkzoNobel Oilfield (The Netherlands), Kemira OYJ (Finland), Solvay S.A. (Belgium), Halliburton Company (U.S.), Schlumberger Limited (U.S.), Baker Hughes Incorporated (U.S.), Clariant AG (Switzerland), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), GE Power & Water Process Technologies (U.S.), Ashland Inc. (U.S.), and Innospec Inc. (U.S.).
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 9 December 2019 – Brent: US$64/b; WTI: US$59/b
Headlines of the week
In the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), India has the fastest-growing rate of energy consumption globally through 2050. By 2050, EIA projects in the IEO2019 Reference case that India will consume more energy than the United States by the mid-2040s, and its consumption will remain second only to China through 2050. EIA explored three alternative outcomes for India’s energy consumption in an Issue in Focus article released today and a corresponding webinar held at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Long-term energy consumption projections in India are uncertain because of its rapid rate of change magnified by the size of its economy. The Issue in Focus article explores two aspects of uncertainty regarding India’s future energy consumption: economic composition by sector and industrial sector energy intensity. When these assumptions vary, it significantly increases estimates of future energy consumption.
In the IEO2019 Reference case, EIA projects the economy of India to surpass the economies of the European countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United States by the late 2030s to become the second-largest economy in the world, behind only China. In EIA’s analysis, gross domestic product values for countries and regions are expressed in purchasing power parity terms.
The IEO2019 Reference case shows India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growing from $9 trillion in 2018 to $49 trillion in 2050, an average growth rate of more than 5% per year, which is higher than the global average annual growth rate of 3% in the IEO2019 Reference case.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019
India’s economic growth will continue to drive India’s growing energy consumption. In the IEO2019 Reference case, India’s total energy consumption increases from 35 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2018 to 120 quadrillion Btu in 2050, growing from a 6% share of the world total to 13%. However, annually, the level of GDP in India has a lower energy consumption than some other countries and regions.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019
In the Issue in Focus, three alternative cases explore different assumptions that affect India’s projected energy consumption:
EIA’s analysis shows that the country's industrial activity has a greater effect on India’s energy consumption than technological improvements. In the IEO2019 Composition and Combination cases, where the assumption is that economic growth is more concentrated in manufacturing, energy use in India grows at a greater rate because those industries have higher energy intensities.
In the IEO2019 Combination case, India’s industrial energy consumption grows to 38 quadrillion Btu more in 2050 than in the Reference case. This difference is equal to a more than 4% increase in 2050 global energy use.