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Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation – Oil for Development Programme (Norad)


Norad is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The Oil for Development (OfD) programme was launched by the Norwegian Government in 2005. The operative goal of the program is the "economically, environmentally and socially responsible management of petroleum resources which safeguards the needs of future generations." Assistance is demand-driven. Competence building and institutional development of government agencies are driving tools of the OfD assistance.

The OfD programme does not seek to export a single solution to sound petroleum governance. The assistance provided to a partner country shall be tailor-made to domestic conditions and demands.

Negotiation Support General

Regional focus:


Assistance criteria:

1. Cooperation must be demand-driven;
2. The country must be eligible for aid assistance under the OECD–DAC;
3. Significant petroleum production or potential must be present;
4. Norwegian experience and expertise must be relevant;
5. There must be an identified need for capacity and competence-building in the public petroleum sector institutions; and
6. The country must be committed to implementing program activities which improve governance of the petroleum sector.

Sector focus:

Extractive industries.

Collaboration with partners:

Yes – For example, Norad has a bilateral agreement with the NRGI.

Types of expertise:

Legal: In-house expertise from Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (4 part-time lawyers), and externally contracted lawyers on a per project basis. Lawyers provide advice/ assistance with the development of legal frameworks (laws, policies, regulations) related to petroleum.

Economic/ financial analysis and modeling: part-time in-house expertise (2-3 lawyers) and several contracted lawyers from Norwegian consultancies (7-8).

Geologists: 10 part-time in-house geologists at the Norwegian Directorate of Petroleum

Environmental expertise: 7 part-time experts at Norwegian Ministry of Environment and their directorates (7, part-time).

Good governance: Five in-house experts and externally-contracted consultants at Norad.

Social impact and human rights: 4 part-time, in-house experts. Additional expertise provided by local NGOs, and in partnership with Revenue Watch Institute.

Occupational health and work safety: Expertise provided through several Norwegian state institutions, petroleum exclusively (7-8 part-time employees).

Fiscal and tax management: Expertise provided by 10 part-time employees at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance as well as by Norwegian specialist consultancies.

Project Development: Expertise provided by Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (seven part-time employees).

Number of in-house experts:

16 staff members.

Length of involvement:

Much longer than a year; an average of 8 years.

Fee/non-fee based support:

Non-fee support, development aid.

Speed of response:

4- 8 months, because of decision-making process (political/economic analysis, review, and assessment of governance indicators).

Practical constraints:

Norad does not provide negotiation support, even though the objective is to level the playing field and help developing host countries on how to negotiate through general OfD activities. The Norwegian government cannot sit at both sides of the table. It aims to draw a clear line between commercial interests (i.e. Statoil Norway state company) and development cooperation to avoid conflicts of interest.

Types of negotiation support

Setting the Legal & Policy Framework Stage:

Yes – OfD provides the following types of support:


Legal: OfD helps governments establish a legal, policy and regulatory framework through working sessions and seminars. In particular, it helps governments establish:

  • A petroleum policy in the respective country based on the Norwegian experience; 
  • A petroleum law and related detailed regulations, which reflect revenue management and environmental management considerations, interdisciplinary task which has been undertaken or is in the process in 18 countries;
  • Model production-sharing contracts.

Technical support: OfD provides assistance with geological, metering and geophysical issues related to the oil & gas sector.

Capacity building: OfD provides capacity-building for the civil servants and politicians to use these laws (long-term).



Pre-Negotiation Stage:


Contract Negotiation Stage:

No - Norad does not provide negotiation strategy support and does not get involved in direct negotiations.

Implementation & Monitoring Stage:


Advancing Knowledge-Sharing and Management:


Provider Type:

Government Support Providers