Dependent on labour from abroad

20/12/2007 Norway’s petroleum business could not have managed without immigrant labour, maintains Knut Aaneland, head of the oil and gas section at the Federation of Norwegian Industries.

Investment on the Norwegian continental shelf is currently at a record level and should total NOK 117 billion in 2007 and NOK 119 billion next year.

“This position is extreme, and presents major challenges for the supplies industry,” says Mr Aaneland. “Companies would prefer a stable level of activity rather than major peaks like today’s.

“The big fluctuations create problems in the labour market. People must be recruited in boom times, but the large difference between peaks and troughs can present problems.

“In the years to come, the industry will need a lot of engineers and operators. So maintaining confidence in this business is crucial.”

He explains that his federation has calculated that Norway has about 100 000 foreigners working in Norway.

“I don’t have exact figures for the oil and gas business, but it’s a large number. Without such immigrant labour, we’d have had a wage and price explosion in Norway and wouldn’t have been able to get everything done.”

Updated: 04/09/2009