The Oil for Development (OfD) programme was established in 2005. Under the programme, Norway has helped to build competence in the area of petroleum management in over 30 countries seeking to learn from Norway’s experience. The Government has now decided to discontinue the programme.
‘Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Norway’s aid budget has a strong focus on climate change, on achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and on meeting the long-term needs of developing countries. We are now phasing out the Oil for Development programme so that we can retarget funds and make our aid budget greener,’ Mr Ulstein said.
The OfD programme will be phased out by 2024, apart from in Colombia, where it will continue until 2025.
‘As we work to target even more of our aid funding towards greener initiatives, a close dialogue with our partner countries will be crucial in order to put in place new, effective programmes and ensure a sense of ownership in the recipient country,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The segment of the OfD programme that focuses on capacity building in the areas of mapping, exploration, extraction, and production of petroleum resources will not be continued beyond current agreements. Other elements of the programme, such as those focusing on environmental and financial management may, when possible and when requested by a partner country, be transferred to other programmes, primarily Tax for Development or Ocean for Development.
‘In order to promote bilateral ties and sustainable results, it is important not to break existing agreements and to ensure that the time frame for phasing out the programme is adapted to the situation and needs of the various partner countries,’ Mr Ulstein said.