Contributing to increased knowledge for other countries

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has an extensive international involvement, ranging from the management of oil and gas resources to development aid.

NPD’s international activities can be divided into three parts: One part deals with handling the relationship with countries bordering on areas where Norway has oil and gas resources. This includes the practical management of shared areas, in consultation with the North Sea rim nations and countries with interests in the northern areas.

Based on Norway’s role as an oil and gas exporting nation, the NPD also has an extensive cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Ministry (MPE), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their activities overseas. The NPD has assisted the MPE in following up bilateral agreements with Mexico and India. 

The third part of the directorate’s international activities is founded in the knowledge the NPD has gained in petroleum activities and resource management, and where other countries request this expertise. Since the 1990s, the NPD has assisted Russia and Nigeria in strengthening how these countries manage their petroleum resources.

The majority of this involvement is part of the Oil for Development programme. The programme was introduced under the Bondevik-led government in 2005, and Norway has committed to spending NOK 250 million each year for five years on the programme. The programme is to strengthen the Norwegian aid to countries which wish to draw on Norwegian experience from the petroleum industry.

The NPD contribution to the Oil for development program consists of building the various countries’ competence in management, resource mapping, regulation and supervision. The tasks range from assisting in establishing the legal framework for the petroleum activity to expert support for resource mapping, information management and sustainable exploitation of the resources.

The Oil for Development programme differentiates between main partner countries and counties where the programme has limited cooperation projects. Angola. Bolivia, Iraq, Mozambique, Nigeria and East Timor are among the most important countries where the NPD has been involved. Madagascar was until recently also a key partner country, but Norway has frozen all aid due to the political situation in the country.

The NPD works closely with other institutions such as Petrad, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian Institute of Marine research to carry out the Oil for Development programme.