How Norway became one of the richest countries in the world- Oil industry

 

 

The first mention of the existence and the possibility of extracting energy resources from the continental shelf have already appeared in the fifties of the twentieth century, but the issue was approached with skepticism. A letter from 1958, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was: “The possibility of finding oil or natural gas on the continental shelf may be quite small.” A year later, companies Esso and Shell have announced that there has been discovered natural gas deposits off the coast of Groningen (The Netherlands). The big oil companies focused on the North Sea. Initially, the study included only around the coastal Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, but in 1962 companies Phillips Petroleum and Mobil became increasingly interested in the Norwegian continental shelf.

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Despite the dominance of large corporations, five French companies succeeded in 1963 in persuading to cooperate with a large Norwegian company Norsk Hydro in order to search and administrate the potential deposits.

In 1966 the company Phillips Petroleum brought from the US a platform called Ocean Traveler. The first wells in the NCS began on July 19 on the platform Ocean Viking.

Early in the morning of August 30, 1969, there was a breakthrough. In the end, Ocean Viking reached, as it turned out, a huge deposit. It took the geologists of the US company Phillips Petroleum many days to estimate the quantity of oil. Finally, on December 23, 1969, perhaps the biggest and nicest Christmas surprise was made to the society. The news was quite big, as many years of searching did not give any tangible results. The first ever oil deposits in Norway was called Ekofisk (eng. ecofish).

In the seventies of the twentieth century, there was a whole series of new discoveries, the most important being the discovery of gas deposits Frigg by the French company Elf (now Total), and a giant oil deposit Statfjord was found by an American company Mobil.

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The oil industry in Norway today

1973 – Oil Crisis

Oil-producing countries in OPEC started in October a boycott of countries that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War. In October oil prices increased by 70 percent, followed by a new increase of 130 percent in December. Before the crisis, oil prices hovered around $ 2.8 per barrel.

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When the crisis was over in 1974 the price was about $ 10.5 per barrel. In Norway the crisis led to that all gas stations were closed on Saturdays and Sundays and after 19.00 on weekdays. From the beginning of December it also introduced a ban on driving a motor vehicle on weekends. Petrol rationing was prepared from January 1974, although this was ever implemented. An unusually mild winter and widespread hoarding led to that restrictions in Norway was abolished in February 1974. The oil crisis led to the event of Norwegian tanker trade going into a prolonged crisis.

 

“About a boy”- differences between the book and the film

In the past few weeks, our english classes consisted of reading a book we have chosen for ourselves, in my case it was “About a boy”.  I have already written two blogposts about it which I recommend reading first here: “My first impression” and “My reading of About a boy”. We have also seen the adaptation of the book with the same title. This time I would like to compare  the paperback and film and hopefully find some differences and similarities between them. aboutaboy2

I have to mention first, that before reading the book in class, I have already seen the film two times before that, so I was quite familiar with the characters and plot. Nevertheless, I was still expecting something interesting and unpredictable to happen in the book, as very rarely are films exactly the same as the novel. It wasn’t any different this time.

Both the book and film begin identically, and the plot throughout is exactly the same. However, there are a few events which made them different. First of all, in the book there is a scene where Marcus is in a shop and his bullies want to make it look like he stole something, but the owner sees what they’re up to. This is another situation showing how the boy struggles with bullying at school and event outside of it. This situation was never mentioned in the book.

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Another thing, is the relationship between Ellie and Marcus. Ellie’s role in the film is much less meaningful, unlike the book, where the whole ending is totally different because of her behavior and ideas. In the book, Marcus thinks quite a lot about the girl and there are many more situations in which she is involved. In the film however, Ellie occurs in the second half of it and is featured all the way to the last scene.

Quite a big role in the book has the band “Nirvana” and their lead singer Kurt Cobain, while in the film they aren’t mentioned at all. While there is just a small talk about Marcus starting to like rap music in the film, meanwhile music is a huge part of the book and has an important meaning. Music is the reason Ellie gets into trouble on the way to Cambridge, and this leads to the following events.

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The difference of the ending is actually the biggest and most important one. Here we can also see how Marcus’ father is portrayed- his role in Marcus’ life is much bigger in the book than in the film, where he is mentioned very rarely and we see him only once or twice. The way the book ends, is that Marcus is on the way to Cambridge with Ellie to visit his father, but they get off the train halfway there. Ellie is in a bad state because of the death of her idol Kurt Cobain, and has decided to get drunk, which doesn’t end well either for her or Marcus. She misunderstands a display in a shop and chooses to break the glass, which ends her up on the police station together with Marcus. From what we see, the book doesn’t end in a much of a happy way, but both the kids learn quite a lot from the experience. The film however doesn’t show any of these events, and ends by Marcus singing “Killing me softly” on a school performance.

If I would have to choose between the book and the film, I would without doubt pick the book. In my opinion, everything was much more detailed, explained and the whole plot was presented in a much more serious way. The film however was very light and fun to see, so it is a bit shortened and less detailed alternative of the book.

In conclusion, I was very satisfied by both the stories, and I highly recommend to read and see them.

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My reading of “About a boy” by Nick Hornby

In this blogpost I am going to write a “double entry journal”, which is a way to reflect on the reading and to give examples from the book that are important. This is also a good way to test the understanding of the text.

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Theme

This wasn’t right. He was only a kid. He’d be thinking that more and more recently, as he got older and older. He didn’t know why. Maybe it was because, when he really was only a kid, he wasn’t capable of recognizing it- you had to be a certain age before you realized that you were actually quite young. Or maybe when he was little, there was nothing to worry about- five or six years ago his mum never spent half the day shivering under a coat watching stupid cartoons, and even if she had he might not thought it was anything out of the ordinary.

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The book has a few themes, but the most important ones are: finding yourself, having responsibilities and the relationships between people. This applies not only to the main character, but to everyone appearing in the novel. The people in the story learn quite a lot about each of these aspects throughout the book, which makes them realize that growing up, or being an adult is not that easy as it sounds. While the 12 year old Marcus has to face up the difficulties of living with a depressed mother, the only problems Will, a single 36 year old man has, is how to fill up his free time.

Setting

Apart from Roger, not much had happened in London yet. They’d only been here for a few weeks- they’d moved on the first day of the summer holidays- and so far it had been pretty boring. […] And they’d been to have a look at his school, which was big and horrible, and wandered around their new neighbourhood, which was called Holloway, and had nice bits and ugly bits, and they’d had lots of talks about London, and the changes that were happening to them, and how they were all for the best, probably. But really they were sitting around waiting for their London lives to begin.

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The story is set mainly in London, at the end also in Cambridge. The main places are usually Wills or Marcus’s flat and the school. Places like the park, train station or SPAT meetings were also featured. As we can read in the short excerpt above, the whole situation is very new to Marcus. He isn’t too satisfied with his new school, the neighbourhood doesn’t seem much better to him either.

 

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Holloway, London- the neighbourhood where Marcus and his mother are living

Plot

Marcus didn`t like the idea of his mother talking to Will. A while ago he wouldn’t get exited about it, but he no longer thought that he and his mum and Will and Ned and another baby perhaps were going to live together in Will’s flat. For a start, Ned didn’t exist, and for another start, if you could have two starts, Fiona and Will didn’t like each other very much, and anyway, Will’s flat is no where big enough for them all, even though they weren’t as many of them as he had originally thought.

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In this paragraph the plot of the story is presented quite clearly. We have Marcus, who first tried to make Will and his mother fall in love, but later realized that Will actually doesn’t have a child and that he’s been lying all way long. This is mainly the action in the book- Will trying to figure out whether he wants a relationship or just to be single, and Marcus, trying to cope with his mothers mental sickness, their lack of money and having a hard time at school. In my opinion the extract from the book above explains the relationship between all the 3 characters very well.

Character development

The truth was that this version of Marcus really wasn’t so hard to cope with. He had friends, he could look after himself, he had developed a skin- the kind of skin Will had just shed. He had flattened out, and become a robust and as unremarkable as every 12-year-old kid.But all three of them had had to lose things in order to gain other things. Will had lost his shell and his cool and his distance, and he felt scared and vulnerable, but he got to be with Rachel; and Fiona had lost a big chunk of Marcus, and she got to stay away from the casualty ward; and Marcus had lost himself, and got to walk home school with his shoes on.

In these few sentences we get a brief sum-up of how each of the main characters had changed at the end of the story. Marcus is no longer teased at school, and has found some good friends. Will is finally beginning to behave as an adult, he has many responsibilities and his life is finally gaining some sense. As for Fiona, as long as she can manage to keep herself in a good physical and mental state, everything should be fine.

Impression of the book and my expectations

I really enjoyed reading the book, even though I have already seen the film two times before. I loved how it all ended quite happily, so that we aren’t left with a feeling of misery or dissatisfaction. The book is very detailed, so all the events were precisely described and we didn’t really have to use our imagination that much. I was very surprised by the ending and was not expecting it to be this way at all, so this is just another positive. I am very satisfied with the book, and can highly recommend it. 🙂

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