Who we are

OfD is a programme which unites the efforts of a range of public and private institutions representing diverse skills and competences. A brief introduction of the Norwegian and international institutions which are involved is given below.  

The Steering Committee and the Secretariat

OfD has an interministerial steering committee with representatives from four ministries: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) and Ministry of the Environment (MoE). The steering committee formulates strategic directions, guidelines and priorities for the secretariat and implementing organizations, and decides on major project proposals. The OfD secretariat is part of the Energy Department in Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation), and is responsible for coordination and implementation of the Oil for Development initiative.

The Norwegian Embassies

The Norwegian embassies play an essential role in OfD, as extensive development cooperation responsibility is assigned to them. The embassies hold valuable local and regional knowledge and network extensively with government agencies, industry, civil society as well as international organizations and other donors in their respective countries. Requests for OfD assistance are normally channelled through the embassies, and embassy staff generally appraises and provides advice on proposals for cooperation. The OfD secretariat in cooperation with the respective ministries of the steering committee is responsible for the professional content of different initiatives.


Key implementing agencies

Key implementing agencies are the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), the Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif), the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN), and Petrad as well as the steering committee ministries. A range of consultancies, research institutions and NGOs are also involved. In addition, the Norwegian oil and gas industry is drawn upon in transferring competence and knowledge.

A more detailed introduction of the institutions that are involved in implementing OfD is presented below.


The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is both a preparatory and an executive body in connection with foreign policy matters, economic foreign policy issues and aid-related matters. The Ministry has two ministers; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Development.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an important coordinating and advisory role vis-à-vis other ministries since it is the Minister of Foreign Affairs who is responsible for the organization, coordination and implementation of Norwegian foreign policy.

Norway’s development cooperation efforts are based on the UN Millennium Development Goals, and Norway is contributing to development in poor countries in many areas and through many different channels. In 2009 the government spent close to NOK 26 billion for emergency relief and development cooperation. Areas that are given particular priority in the development cooperation budget are climate, environment and sustainable development, women and gender equality, good governance, anti-corruption efforts, oil and energy, peace building, human rights and humanitarian assistance. The Ministry is also responsible for a number of government institutions, e.g. Norad.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs heads the steering committee for the OfD programme.


The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE ) has the overall administrative responsibility for petroleum operations on the Norwegian continental shelf. Its job is to ensure that these operations are pursued in accordance with the laws and guidelines laid down by the Storting (parliament), which determines the framework for petroleum operations in Norway.

The primary functions of the MPE are:

  • Development of the legal, regulatory and institutional framework for petroleum activities in Norway
  • Preparation and implementation of policies, such as opening new acreage and licensing, handling of field development, production and transport plans and environmental issues related to the petroleum activities
  • Implementation of Memoranda of Understanding for cooperation with the authorities in other countries
  • Internationalization of the Norwegian petroleum sector; the INTSOK foundation has been established to assist the MPE in this process.
  • Monitoring state-owned companies in the petroleum sector

The MPE is a member of the steering committee for the OfD programme. The Ministry also coordinates the involvement of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

The Norwegian Ministry of the Environment

The Norwegian Ministry of the Environment was established in 1972 as one of the first ministries of its kind in the world.

The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for overall environmental policy in Norway, coordinating the government’s environmental policy objectives, and ensuring follow-up and monitoring of results of environmental policies. The Ministry serves as the secretariat for the Minister of the Environment and International Development, and is the catalyst for new policy and legislation. It is also responsible for providing sufficient budgetary and other administrative means to fulfil environmental goals. The basic legislation includes laws and regulations in the fields of pollution control, nature conservation, cultural heritage and planning and building.

Environmental policy is divided into eleven target areas, with a main focus on climate change, sustainable use and protection of biodiversity, and hazardous substances. The Ministry also has expertise in regional planning, mapping and geographical data (geodata), and is involved in an extensive international and bilateral cooperation.

The Ministry of the Environment is a member of the steering committee for the OfD programme. The Ministry also coordinates the involvement of the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management and the Climate and Pollution Agency in the OfD programme.


The Norwegian Ministry of Finance

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance is responsible for:

  • Planning and implementing economic policy
  • Coordinating the preparation of the fiscal budget
  • Giving guidelines for monetary policy
  • Ensuring government revenues by maintaining and developing the tax system
  • Managing government financial assets, including the Government Pension Fund
  • Monitoring financial markets and drawing up regulations.

The Ministry has delegated the operational management of the Government Pension Fund to Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway). The Ministry also has the responsibility for several government institutions e.g. the Directorate of Taxes and Statistics Norway.

The Ministry of Finance is engaged in a wide international cooperation, both with other countries, e.g. tax agreements, and in international organizations primarily concerned with cooperation on economic policy.

The Ministry of Finance is a member of the steering committee for the OfD programme.

Through OfD the Ministry of Finance is actively involved in Timor- Leste and Madagascar providing support and advice on economic policy and revenue management. In 2009, all assistance projects to Madagascar were frozen. The Ministry of Finance is planning to engage in institutional cooperation with Uganda.


The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is administratively subordinate to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE).

The NPD shall assist in creating the greatest possible value for the Norwegian society from oil and gas activities by means of prudent resource management based on safety, emergency preparedness and safeguarding the natural environment.

The primary functions of the NPD are to:

  • Exercise administrative and financial control to ensure that petroleum activities are carried out in accordance with applicable legislation, regulations, guidelines, decisions and licensing terms
  • Ensure that petroleum activities are carried out in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the MPE
  • Advise the MPE on issues relating to subsea natural resource exploration and exploitation
  • Issue regulations relating to resource management
  • Supervise the industry’s compliance with regulations for resource management
  • Perform resource assessments and maintain a resource inventory
  • Ensure that petroleum activities minimize discharges and emissions to the external environment
  • Manage and make available petroleum data and information
  • Audit fiscal metering systems Ensure security of petroleum deliveries
  • Handle CO2 tax issues on behalf of the Ministry of Finance
  • Emphasize cost-effectiveness in exploration and production, cost-effectiveness in utilization of the infrastructure and coordination across production licenses
  • Support sister organizations in other petroleum producing countries through institutional cooperation or technical assistance.

The NPD has assisted developing countries in petroleum resource management for more than 25 years. The assistance is mainly directed towards long-term institutional cooperation with sister organizations having similar governance functions on a wide range of issues.

The NP D assists Norad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in planning and implementing petroleum sector support to authorities in selected countries and regional organizations under the OfD programme.

Read more on: www.npd.no


Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA)

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has regulatory responsibility for safety, emergency preparedness and the working environment in Norwegian offshore petroleum operations and at certain petroleum facilities and associated pipeline systems on land. The PSA reports to the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion.

Through its own supervisory activities, and in cooperation with other agencies holding independent regulatory responsibility for health, safety and the environment (HSE), the PSA ensures that the petroleum industry is subject to comprehensive supervision. The PSA provides information and advice to stakeholders in the petroleum industry, cooperates with other HSE authorities both nationally and internationally, and contributes to sharing and promoting knowledge about HSE in society at large.

The aim of the PSA’s international work is to support the recipient country in creating and/or developing a regulatory regime in the safety and working environment area, which facilitates the development of petroleum activities in an acceptable manner. The most significant part of the PSA’s international development work involves projects run by Norad. The PSA has also provided contributions to courses and programmes organized by Petrad as well as hosted delegations visiting Norway as part of an ongoing or planned assistance project. In most such projects, regulation of safety and the working environment has been one topic in a broader petroleum-related context.

Read more on: www.ptil.no


The Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif)


The Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif1) reports to the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and has 325 employees mainly based in Oslo. Klif implements government policy on pollution. The agency acts as guide, guardian and a driving force for a better environment. Its most important fields of work include climate change, chemicals, water and the marine environment, waste management, air quality and noise. Klif’s vision is a future without pollution.

Klif is working to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce the spread of substances harmful to health and environment
  • Achieve a holistic and ecosystem based management of water bodies and oceans
  • Increase recycling and reducing emissions from waste
  • Reduce harmful effects from air pollution and noise

Klif’s functions and roles are to:

  • Manage and enforce the Pollution Control Act, the Product Control Act and the Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Act, including the granting of permits, establishment of requirements and setting of emission limits, and carrying out inspections and audits to ensure compliance
  • Monitor and inform about the state of the environment, including the provision of information to the general public on the State of Environment Norway internet site
  • Instruct and guide the County Governors’ environmental departments, including the coordination of compliance monitoring activities and dealing with appeals against decisions made by the County Governors
  • Provide expert advice and promote key environmental initiatives, including the highlighting of environmental challenges in different sectors and provide advice, assessments and suggestions for lines of action to the Ministry of the Environment.
  • Participate in international environmental and development cooperation, including the cooperation with the environmental authorities in other countries, sharing experience and expertise

Klif aspires to actively participate in the OfD programme as one of the main contributors to the environmental pillar. In the context of the programme, Klif may provide advice and support in capacity building within its areas of responsibility based on the agency’s long time experience related to Norwegian oil and gas industry activities. This includes advice and exchange of experience regarding strategic environmental assessments (SEA), evaluation of environmental impact assessments, permitting, emission quota systems, discharge standards, the use of chemicals, waste management, environmental and compliance monitoring and reporting, contingency preparedness and decommissioning.

Read more on: www.klif.no

1 - This agency was previously known as the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT).


The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN)

The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management is the Ministry of the Environment´s advisory and executive agency for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and nature. The Directorate possesses multidisciplinary expertise in the fields of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecology, land-use management and outdoor recreation, and is a national centre for data-based information on ecology and biology. Key Acts in the legal basis for the Directorate include the Nature Diversity Act, the Wildlife Act, the Act related to salmonoids and freshwater fish, the Gene Technology Act and the Planning and Building Act.

The DN’s main tasks include:

  • Safeguarding the variation of Norway´s natural environment and landscape and maintain the natural production capacity
  • Ensuring that consideration for the long-term use of natural resources is taken into account in connection with oceans and coastal management, land-use and watercourse planning and plans that affect the natural environment
  • Having management responsibilities for wildlife, freshwater fish, protected areas and invasive alien species
  • Maintaining overview of present and future ecological effects of climate change in Norway and developing adaptation and mitigation measures within nature management
  • Promoting opportunities to use nature for outdoor recreation, training and harvesting
  • Procuring and disseminating knowledge as the basis for active and preventive transparent nature management
  • Performing national management and advisory duties for global and regional multilateral environment conventions and agreements on biodiversity

The DN serves as an advisor to Norad on issues related to biological diversity, biotechnology and sustainable use of natural resources. Within the OfD programme, the DN is involved in strategic and environmental impact assessments (SEA and EIA), land use planning, biodiversity mapping and monitoring, and spatial/geodata management.

Read more on: www.dirnat.no



Petrad is a non-profit Norwegian government foundation established in 1989 to facilitate transfer of knowledge and experience within petroleum management, as well as administration and technology to authorities in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Petrad organizes eight-week courses on Petroleum Policy and Resource Management and Petroleum Development and Operations in Stavanger, Norway. For a more detailed description of Petrad’s eight-week courses see page 116. In addition, Petrad organizes training modules worldwide, as well as tailor-made seminars covering a range of different topics within petroleum management, administration and technology. The programmes last from one day to 10 weeks and are staged in Norway and abroad. All of Petrad’s courses and seminars have a practical focus.

Petrad also offers and facilitates advisory and consultancy services in institutional development throughout all phases of petroleum sector development. Petrad’s Capacity and Training Needs Assessment (CTNA) service is an organizational development tool designed to perform a systematic analysis of institutional competence needs. Petrad draws on key personnel and lecturers from the Norwegian and international petroleum industry.

Read more on: www.petrad.no


Other involved agencies

A range of consultancies and research institutions are also involved in implementing the OfD-initiative. Current framework agreements are with Econ Pöyry, the Bridge Group A/S and M4 International Petroleum Associates A/S (IPAN) and run to 1 July 2010. OfD may draw upon Norad’s general framework agreements as well.

Norway and the World Bank have developed a programme of cooperation (“The Petroleum Governance Initiative”) covering issues such as petroleum sector governance, revenue management, environmental challenges and community development approaches (see also the chapter: Other ODF Programmes). OfD funds this initiative with NOK 20 million per year. OfD also provided the IMF with NOK 10 million in 2009 (see also the chapter: Other ODF Programmes). Other important multilateral cooperation partners are the UNDP and the Asian Development Bank.

A particularly important multistakeholder partner is the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining. The EITI secretariat is located in the same building as the OfD secretariat.

Civil society organizations are important for realizing the objectives of OfD. In 2009 nearly NOK 22 million was spent on civil society capacity building, and the major share of the funds is allocated by OfD to Norwegian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through an application-based process. These organizations then provide various types of capacity building to their partner organizations in the OfD cooperating countries. OfD has also provided USD 3 million in core funding in 2007-2009 to the New Yorkbased Revenue Watch Institute (RWI).

OfD draws upon the competence of Norwegian and international oil and service companies, for example INTSOK, on some issues, particularly in areas such as education/vocational training, technology transfer and generating industrial/economic spin-offs from oil sector activities.

Importantly, OfD’s objective is to strengthen capacity and competence in government institutions and civil society, not to secure upstream contracts for Norwegian or international companies. Cooperation with the industry is therefore always based on careful analyses of roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders, and efforts are made to ensure that OfD is contributing to a level playing-field among competing oil industry players, and not the opposite.

Guidelines for OfD cooperation with the petroleum industry as well as more detailed information and news concerning the OfD-programme, can be found on: www.norad.no