For the first time money has been withdrawn from the oil fund. The first withdrawal took place in January and was at 6.7 billion, according to figures from the national accounts, which was recently published.
The Ministry of Finance confirms the withdrawal in an email to Dagens Næringsliv.
Reduced state revenues as a result of the low oil price means that 2016 is expected to be the first year of withdrawal from the Fund.
Since the first deposit in 1996 was transferred just under 3.500 billion have been transferred to the fund, including deposits in the last two months of last year.
State Secretary Paal Bjørnestad (FRP) in the Ministry of Finance said the following in an email:
– As stated in the National Budget for 2016 the government’s net cash flow from petroleum activities is likely to be lower than the non-oil budget deficit in 2016. Although the decline in oil prices has accelerated this process, it should come as no great surprise that oil revenues would eventually decrease and become lower than the fund’s performance and the use of funds of the budget.
The transfer to the oil fund has declined in recent years and totaled 46 billion in 2015, based on the Pension Fund’s report for the third quarter plus transfers in November and December. This is the lowest deposit since 1999.
While the money from the oil fund has been withdrawn, the value of the Fund has decreased by around 300 billion so far this year, due to falls in global equity markets.
The fund value was on Thursday night Norwegian time just over 7.090 billion, according to the counter on the Pension Fund website.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today