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An oilfield worker walks down a flight of stairs at the Statoil oil sands facility near Conklin, Alberta, in this file picture taken November 3, 2011.
An oilfield worker walks down a flight of stairs at the Statoil oil sands facility near Conklin, Alberta, in this file picture taken November 3, 2011.
(Todd Korol/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

Statoil pays 78 per cent tax, and Norway wants to raise it

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Anyone who thought that Norway and Statoil were basically the same thing has just had a rude awakening. The government in Oslo last month proposed reducing the tax incentives for investing in new oil and gas developments – apparently without giving the national oil champion any advance warning. So Statoil said on Wednesday it will delay development of its Johan Castberg oilfield in the Barents Sea because the fiscal move – not yet law – adds $7 (U.S.) a barrel to the break-even cost of development and makes it less attractive.