Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canada has staked its future on the oil sands. In November, Report on Business magazine together with Thomson Reuters examine what that means both at home and abroad. Read more from the issue at tgam.ca/oil.

Should governments siphon off profits from massive oil and gas reserves and invest them for the long term? Or should they let the free market grip it and rip it, and keep taxes and regulations to a minimum?

Alberta and Norway provide two strikingly different answers to those questions. Norway began extracting oil and gas from the North Sea in 1971, and since then it has produced the equivalent of more than 38 billion barrels of oil. Over the same period, Alberta has produced about 54 billion barrels.

In 1976, under Conservative Premier Peter Lougheed, Alberta created the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, and began depositing 30% of its oil royalties in it. Lougheed wanted to diversify the province’s economy; in the early years, he spent much of the money on things like hospitals, education and rail transport for grain. But in the 1980s and 1990s, oil prices sank and provincial revenues were squeezed. In 1987, Alberta stopped adding new royalty money to the Heritage Fund. In the mid-1990s, the province began withdrawing yearly investment income and putting it in general revenue. In 2008, Alberta turned management of the fund over to the new Alberta Investment Management Corp.

In 1972, Norway created Statoil, hoping to build a domestic oil industry. It is now the 10th-largest oil company in the world, and still 67% state-owned. In 1990, Norway created the Petroleum Fund to try to smooth out the impact of fluctuating oil prices and tax receipts. The government began depositing tax and licensing revenues from private oil companies, as well as the interest and dividends from Statoil. In 1998, it gave the fund permission to invest up to 40% of its money in stock markets. In 2006, the fund was renamed the Government Pension Fund Global, and it is now the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. As of January, 2014, every one of Norway’s 5.1 million citizens was a millionaire in kroners (worth about 17 Canadian cents each).

Largest oil-and-gas sovereign wealth funds

Map highlights countries where the worlds largest funds are located
Rank
Year Launched
Amount saved
(Billions of $ U.S.)
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Latest Videos

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies