The first five years of the 1970s were years of transformation in petroleum politics--no less so in the United Kingdom and Norway than in the Middle East. The presence of oil in the North Sea, the worldwide trend toward greater national control of petroleum resources, and higher crude oil prices all contributed to a dramatic transformation of the petroleum policies established in Britain and Norway in the 1960s. This chapter examines in detail the road leading to reform in each country, the role of important actors in the formation of new policies, and the new systems thatemerged.
The road to petroleum policy reform in Norway was a smooth one. The journey began when officials became increasingly dissatisfied in the late 1960s with the limited tools of control provided by the 1965 system. The introduction of state participation to Second Round licenses was one indication that change was desired. Another was a statement by the Ministry of Industry in a 1970 report to the Storting that made clear its intention to consider the establishment of a stateowned company and a continental shelf directorate if commercial petroleum deposits were found. 1 Norwegian authorities wanted change, but their desire to strengthen state control of offshore activity could not be realized fully until their bargaining position vis-à-vis the oil companies was radically improved. That improvement came in mid-1970 when both the petroleum industry and the government recognized Ekofisk as a major discovery. 2 With a proven oil province within its jurisdiction, the Norwegian government now definitelyhad