Category Archives: Norway

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund To Dump All Its Oil & Gas Stocks

Repost from OilPrice.com

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund To Dump All Its Oil & Gas Stocks

By Irina Slav – Mar 08, 2019, 9:30 AM CST

Statoil

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will exit all investments in oil and gas production acting on a government recommendation in line with a more cautious approach to energy investments by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund worth about US$1 trillion.

The move is bound to shake up the oil and gas industry as Norway’s fund has assets worth some US$37 billion in upstream investments that the government now considers too risky in light of the heightened price volatility post-2014.

“The goal is to make our collective wealth less vulnerable to a lasting fall in oil prices,” the Financial Times quoted Finance Minister Siv Jensen as saying. This suggests the companies most affected by the decision would be pure-play producers rather than Big Oil majors but even the latter’s stocks are bound to be hurt by the decision.

The decision has been about a year in the works. In 2018, the fund’s management recommended the move to make itself less vulnerable to oil and gas price shocks and won the support of several top local economists as well as academics. The portion of oil and gas stocks in its portfolio constitutes 5.8 percent of its total equities holdings at end-2018.

“The oil business will be a major and important industry in Norway for many years to come. The government’s income from the [continental] shelf basically follows the profitability of upstream companies. Therefore this is about spreading the risk,” Jensen said at the announcement of the decision.

However, as the FT notes, chances are environmentalists organizations will seize on the opportunity to step up pressure on other institutional investors in oil and gas to consider dialing back their exposure to the fossil fuel industry.

The Norwegian fund is invested in more than 9,000 companies worldwide and owns 1.4 percent of listed companies around the world and 2.4 percent of all listed companies in Europe. As at December 31, 2017, the fund held stakes in 350 oil and gas stocks around the world, including just over 2 percent in each of Shell and BP, 1.9 percent in Total, 1.4 percent in Eni, 0.9 percent in Exxon worth more than US$3 billion, and just below 1 percent in Chevron worth US$2.24 billion.

Share...

    Norwegian oil fund – partial divestment in fossil fuels, billions of dollars in assets

    Repost from Fossil Free – Divest from Fossil Fuels.

    Norway’s divestment is great news. But this is the last moment to be complacent.

    By Tim Ratcliffe February 6, 2015

    oil fundToday’s news that the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth (oil)  Fund has divested from a total of 22 companies, potentially totaling billions of dollars in assets, is a huge win for the rapidly growing divestment campaign and should be celebrated. In fact, in terms of amount of money it is likely the biggest divestment decision to date, so reason to be optimistic that this rapidly growing campaign is having a serious impact.

    But once the celebrating is over, there’s no time to sit back.  Now is the time to push. In the words of Naomi Klein, acclaimed author and journalist, regarding the implications of the falling oil price, “We’re in a much better situation to win but we need to understand that this is a window. This is the last moment to be complacent.”

    This has been reiterated in recent publications by both the Economist and Deutsche Bank. The reality is that most of the carbon in our already proven reserves must stay in the ground and that legislation to ensure that this is the case is just around the corner. Now is the time to demand big changes.

    The Norwegian oil fund still invests in well over 100 fossil fuel companies with assets totalling around $40bn, and total reserves representing well over 500gt CO2 if burnt. Enough to take the world soaring past a 2 degree target and any chance of stopping dangerous changes to the climate system.

    “I see this as a “counter-move” from Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the group that oversees investments by the fund, to the growing pressure from divestment, where they try to demonstrate to politicians that they can do OK without stricter political mandates,” suggests Truls Gulowsen, campaigner with Greenpeace Norway. “It is still up to Parliament to instruct the Fund to complete full fossil fuel divestment, as the Fund still has billions in coal, oil and tar sands investments. This decision is scheduled for May this year, so maximum pressure on Norway is needed.”

    Global Divestment Day next week, 13 and 14 February comes at the perfect time to increase the pressure on institutions such as the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund to commit to full divest from fossil fuels.

    Keep up the hard work. It’s paying off!

    Share...

      World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of dirty energy companies

      Repost from The Guardian
      [Editor: significant quote: “Note: The first line originally said 40 coal mining companies had been dropped, instead of the correct number of 32.  A further eight companies were dropped due to their greenhouse gas emissions: five tar sand producers, two cement companies and one coal-based electricity generator.”   My emphasis.  – RS]

      World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of coal companies

      Norway’s giant fund removes investments made risky by climate change and other environmental concerns, including coal, oil sands, cement and gold mining

      By Damian Carrington, 5 February 2015
      Part of a mining platform at a disused coal mine in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. The country’s £556bn sovereign wealth fund, GPFG, has published its divestment details in its first report on responsible investing. Photograph: Alamy
      Part of a mining platform at a disused coal mine in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. The country’s £556bn sovereign wealth fund, GPFG, has published its divestment details in its first report on responsible investing. Photograph: Alamy

      The world’s richest sovereign wealth fund removed 32 coal mining companies from its portfolio in 2014, citing the risk they face from regulatory action on climate change.

      Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), worth $850bn (£556bn) and founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth, revealed a total of 114 companies had been dumped on environmental and climate grounds in its first report on responsible investing, released on Thursday. The companies divested also include tar sands producers, cement makers and gold miners.

      As part of a fast-growing campaign, over $50bn in fossil fuel company stocks have been divested by 180 organisations on the basis that their business models are incompatible with the pledge by the world’s governments to tackle global warming. But the GPFG is the highest profile institution to divest to date.

      A series of analyses have shown that only a quarter of known and exploitable fossil fuels can be burned if temperatures are to be kept below 2C, the internationally agreed danger limit. Bank of England governor Mark Carney, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and others have warned investors that action on climate change would leave many current fossil fuel assets worthless.

      “Our risk-based approach means that we exit sectors and areas where we see elevated levels of risk to our investments in the long term,” said Marthe Skaar, spokeswoman for GPFG, which has $40bn invested in fossil fuel companies. “Companies with particularly high greenhouse gas emissions may be exposed to risk from regulatory or other changes leading to a fall in demand.”

      She said GPFG had divested from 22 companies because of their high carbon emissions: 14 coal miners, five tar sand producers, two cement companies and one coal-based electricity generator. In addition, 16 coal miners linked to deforestation in Indonesia and India were dumped, as were two US coal companies involved in mountain-top removal. The GPFG did not reveal the names of the companies or the value of the divestments.

      “One of the largest global investment institutions is winding down its coal interests, as it is clear the business model for coal no longer works with western markets already in a death spiral, and signs of Chinese demand peaking,” said James Leaton, research director at the Carbon Tracker Initiative, which analyses the risk of fossil fuel assets being stranded.

      A report by Goldman Sachs in January also called time on the use of coal for electricity generation: “Just as a worker celebrating their 65th birthday can settle into a more sedate lifestyle while they look back on past achievements, we argue that thermal coal has reached its retirement age.” Goldman Sachs downgraded its long term price forecast for coal by 18%.

      On Wednesday, a group of medical organisations called for the health sector to divest from fossil fuels as it had from tobacco. The £18bn Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s biggest funders of medical research , said “climate change is one of the greatest challenges to global health” but rejected the call to divest or reveal its total fossil fuel holdings.

      In January, Axa Investment Managers warned the reputation of fossil fuel companies were at immediate risk from the divestment campaign and Shell unexpectedly backed a shareholder demand to assess whether the company’s business model is compatible with global goals to tackle climate change.

      Note: The first line originally said 40 coal mining companies had been dropped, instead of the correct number of 32. A further eight companies were dropped due to their greenhouse gas emissions: five tar sand producers, two cement companies and one coal-based electricity generator.
      Share...