After more than a year of deliberation, the government on Friday
approved excluding 134 companies classified as exploration and production
companies by FTSE Russell, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chesapeake
Energy Corp., Cnooc Ltd. and Tullow Oil Plc. The proposal would see the fund
sell about $7.5 billion in stocks, Bloomberg reported.
“It reflects to a larger extent the risk we ourselves have --- the
bulk of the state’s exposure in Norway is upstream activity,” Finance Minister
Siv Jensen said. “We are reducing our vulnerability by choosing to withdraw the
fund gradually from this segment.”
The government goes part of the way in meeting a 2017 proposal from
the fund, which rattled global markets by arguing for a full divestment of the
sector to limit Norway’s overall exposure to oil.
The plan was hailed as a potential huge step by climate activists,
some of whom on Friday lamented the limited scope of the decision.
It has been a hot-button issue in Norway, which is seeking to
project an image as a responsible environmental steward while pumping oil and
gas at a fast clip.
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