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The Welfare Implications of Oil Privatisation: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Norway’s Statoil

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  • Wolf, C.
  • Pollitt, M.G.

Abstract

The oil industry is of great economic significance to many countries, and privatisations of National Oil Companies (NOCs) have often been controversial, as have been the benefits from privatisation more generally. We conduct a social cost-benefit analysis of the partial privatisation of Norway’s Statoil and estimate net present welfare improvements of at least NOK 166 billion (US$18.4 billion) in 2001 money, which amounts to 11% of Norway’s GDP in that year. Savings on investment costs are the most important source of efficiency improvements, and two thirds of the overall benefits accrue at fellow stakeholders in Statoil-led operations. The state manages to capture 66% of the total welfare gain, with the remainder going to private shareholders and no changes to consumer surplus. It is shown that benefits from partial privatisation can be substantial, particularly if ownership change is supported by additional restructuring measures, and that privatisation can be structured with state involvement at several levels, aiming to maximise the public share of benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolf, C. & Pollitt, M.G., 2009. "The Welfare Implications of Oil Privatisation: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Norway’s Statoil," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0912, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0912
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    Cited by:

    1. Pollitt, Michael G., 2012. "The role of policy in energy transitions: Lessons from the energy liberalisation era," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 128-137.
    2. VAN DE VOORDE, Eddy & VERHOEVEN, Patrick, 2014. "The economics of port authority reform. A framework for ex-post evaluation," Working Papers 2014017, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    3. John Nellis, 2012. "The International Experience with Privatization: Its Rapid Rise, Partial Fall and Uncertain Future," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 5(3), January.
    4. Vining, Aidan R. & Moore, Mark A., 2017. "Potash ownership and extraction: Between a rock and a hard place in Saskatchewan," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 71-80.
    5. Aidan R. VINING & Anthony E. BOARDMAN & Mark A. MOORE, 2014. "The Theory And Evidence Pertaining To Local Government Mixed Enterprises," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(1), pages 53-86, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Privatisation; Cost-Benefit; Welfare; Oil and Gas; Norway;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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