Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — a state-owned investment fund worth approximately a trillion dollars — recently announced it was divesting from oil and gas exploration companies around the world. Not surprisingly, many oil and gas stocks declined following the announcement.
While this is good news for the climate, this was simply a smart business decision. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), primarily exists due to Norwegian oil production. And the fund will continue to be a major investor in companies like Exxon.
It appears it’s just cutting its losses on money-losing endeavors like fracking in America, tar sands oil production in Canada, and frontier exploration by UK companies in Africa and South-East Asia.
“The government is proposing to exclude companies classified as exploration and production (E&P) companies within the energy sector from the [fund] to reduce the aggregate oil price risk in the Norwegian economy,” the Finance Ministry explained in a statement announcing the move.
Dumping Losing Assets
What that translates to in America is essentially a divestment from the shale oil and gas producers like EOG Resources, Apache, Continental, Diamondback, and Chesapeake. Apparently, the fund managers are tired of losing money on fracked oil and gas.
The move certainly comes at a bad time for the American fracking industry. Their previously endless supply of loans from Wall Street has also started to dry up, leading to budget cuts, layoffs, and reduced oil production.
In Canada, among the companies targeted for divestment is Canadian Natural Resources, LTD — an Alberta tar sands oil producer. The Canadian tar sands oil industry has been losing money for several years and several major oil companies have sold tar sands assets, including Devon Energy’s recent announcement it was getting out of the tar sands production business.
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