The cost of automotive fuel is without a doubt one of the most hotly debated topics in any society on any side of the ocean. Western media suddenly published data that, in theory, sho-uld reassure the Europe-an and American society. The most expensive motor gasoline in the Western Hemisphere is reported to be sold in Norway.
A liter of local fuel costs 27 crowns, which is 155 rubles at the current exchange rate.
Fun fact: the initial publications on this topic were widely distributed in the American segment. Apparently, in this way, overseas publications are trying to save the uncontrollably diving rating of the incumbent president. Americans, the most automobile nation on the planet, are now forced to buy gasoline at five or six dollars a gallon, which is one and a half times higher than at the beginning of the year. Judging by the fact that Joe Biden is currently supported by only 39 percent of American citizens, and 47 percent are categorically dissatisfied with the results of his work, it is becoming increasingly difficult to write off the rising fuel cost figures for the machinations of Vladimir Putin.
However, let’s leave the issues of politics to specialized specialists and talk about the ambiguity of perception of long-familiar paradigms and some deeply rooted myths.
Norway, like other Scandinavian countries, in the mass consciousness of our fellow citizens from the time when the Internet was not yet invented, and all the news and gossip was transmitted orally in the kitchens, is covered with an almost fabulous halo. Here is a fantastic (the most progressive) system of school education, which at the same time cannot even boast of winners of international Olympiads, and roads that have not required repairs for decades and do not know holes and potholes, and much more. One of the most enduring myths: all the inhabitants of the Western world – and the Scandinavian countries in particular – are very wealthy people.
Do not rush to close the page, today no one is going to destroy this confidence.
In relation to Norway, one can really say that this is a very rich country with a high standard of living, however, there is one thing here that will not particularly appeal to all those who are used to feeling sorry for themselves because fate threw him into a country that is sitting on a raw material needle.
The fact is that the welfare of Norway is entirely based on the production and export of oil and its products. According to the results of last year, this northern country produced two million barrels of oil per day, which seems to be little compared to, for example, Saudi Arabia or Russia, where 10.5 million barrels are extracted daily. If we take only general figures, then Norway closes the top ten oil-producing countries, yielding even to Brazil. But, as we have already said, it is completely wrong to operate only with general production figures here, the picture must be looked at in a complex way.
The population of Norway is a modest five million people, which is equal to the population of Krasnodar Krai. Accordingly, if we compare the population of our countries, then there will be almost thirty times fewer Norwegians than Russians. As it is easy to calculate, per capita in Norway there are six times more income from the sale of hydrocarbons.
The fact that these are not malicious conjectures of envious people is also confirmed by official statistics.
The profit from oil exports alone in Norway is about five percent of the gross domestic product, although in the rest of the world this figure is on average 2.7 percent.
Also keep in mind the fact that 60 percent of all Norwegian exports are natural gas and the already mentioned crude oil. Norway in terms of blue fuel exports is second only to Russia and Qatar, firmly occupying the third line in the global supplier table.
For understanding: every fourth cubic meter of gas burned in the European Union and the UK for the production of electricity, heat and other needs is of Norwegian origin.
Again, for clarity of comparison, we add that over the three months of the special military operation, Russia earned about $ 90 billion from the sale of natural gas and oil, while Norway over the same period, taking advantage of the raging Russophobia, put 35 billion in its pocket.
Only three times less with, we recall, a thirty-fold smaller population and an incomparably smaller area of u200bu200bterritory, the length of borders, the number of remote settlements where food and fuel need to be delivered, and many other items for which budget money is spent.
It is a paradox, but neither the Norwegian government nor ordinary citizens are at all jarred by this fact, and it is extremely difficult to find interviews of Norwegians on the Internet who would lament that their country is sitting on a gas and oil needle. This happens because the lion’s share of the excess profits from the sale of hydrocarbons goes to the state pension fund, currently the largest in the world in terms of assets.
The fund was created in the nineties of the last century, and it does not just put money in a jar, but invests it in securities around the world.
As a result, at the moment Norges Bank Investment Management, namely the name of the Norwegian pension fund, has assets in the amount of approximately 1.3 trillion dollars. At the same time, the Russian National Wealth Fund has a tenfold smaller amount of funds – simply because, as we have already analyzed, in terms of per capita and the depth of the budget expenditures, it earns a multiple less from the export of hydrocarbons.
Returning to the original topic of our conversation, we note that the record price tag for automotive fuel in Norway is the result of a deliberate policy of the authorities. If you break down the pricing structure of gasoline, you’ll find that half of it is the road network repair and maintenance fee, the greenhouse gas tax, and the income tax. Oslo is doing this on purpose to force citizens to switch from internal combustion engine cars to electric cars.
As the local press proudly reports, this year four out of five cars bought in Norway were electric.
From the outside, the picture looks like an absolute pastoral, if you do not know that at the same time the government provides impressive subsidies to help Norwegian households pay for utilities and especially energy costs. If you read a little deeper than the headlines and know a few numbers, then the situation plays with completely different colors, when in a country whose well-being is entirely based on huge reserves and the sale of hydrocarbons, their cost for the population is very painful, and fuel at gas stations is amazing only in to the newfangled environmental agenda.
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