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    Optimism prevails in the Norwegian oil industry - claims OLF

    News // December 12, 2008

    In spite of the financial crisis companies in the oil industry have a positive outlook for the future, says the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).

    "The engine in the Norwegian economy is more important than ever. Wise political decisions are important to ensure that Norway maintains its solid footing in the future," said Per Terje Vold, Director General of the OLF in a statement issued earlier this week.

    OLF has published the first edition of its economic barometer for petroleum activities. The conclusion of the report, based on the responses of 4,921 companies across Norway, 1,080 of which have oil-related turnover, is clear: the higher the percentage of oil-related sales, the better the prospects for 2009.

    "The results clearly show how the oil industry moderates the decline in the Norwegian economy in these difficult economic times. The robust activity in the industry is saving jobs all over the country," said Mr Vold.

    Vold emphasised that the industry sees itself playing a supporting role for the Norwegian economy for many years to come. "When we see just how important the oil industry is for the future, it is worrying that some political parties want to rob people of their jobs, and the welfare state of its most important source of income," he said.

    Three of four companies with more than 25 per cent oil-related sales report that the recent developments in the share and financial markets have not led to reduced activity.

    The companies with the highest percentage of oil-related turnover are the least affected.

    Four of five companies have not experienced reduced access to credit. However, five per cent of the companies report that they have experienced problems making payments due to reduced availability of credit.

    Thirteen per cent of the companies say that their financial costs have increased in general for the same reason.

    "The survey shows that the most important job is to straighten out the credit crisis in the market," said Mr Vold.

    Companies with a high percentage of oil-related sales still assess the market as good in 2009, but weaker in 2010.

    Companies with low or no oil-related sales have a less favourable assessment of the market in 2009, but assume that it will take a turn for the better in 2010.

    "The investments for 2009 are already determined, and this is certainly reflected in the survey. However, like all other sectors, the companies in the oil industry are concerned with capital discipline. Therefore, we may see a falling trend in 2010 if the price of oil remains low," said Mr Vold.


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