The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 June 2005

Moroccan role

Norway, thanks to North Sea oil the third-largest exporter of petroleum, has been socking away spare kronor in a Petroleum Fund, a hedge against the time when the pumps will presumably start sucking air. To avoid undue influence on the Norwegian domestic economy, the Fund buys overseas equities only.

And for a while, the Fund held about $52 million of Kerr-McGee stock, but Norway has announced that the Fund has sold all its KMG shares and will do no further business with the company.

The reason? KMG is engaged in offshore oil exploration off the Western Sahara, a region annexed by Morocco in 1975, and the Fund's ethics advisors said that this was "a particularly serious violation of fundamental ethical norms ... because it may strengthen Morocco's sovereignty claims and thus contribute to undermining the UN peace process."

Kerr-McGee points out that the UN itself reviewed, and approved in 2002, their permit from the Moroccan government. The company did not, so far as I know, burst into guffaws at the mention of the phrase "UN peace process."

Posted at 4:03 PM to Dyssynergy

secret squirrel....shhh

Posted by: paulsmos at 9:09 PM on 7 June 2005