January 5, 2009

Canadian consults Norway on oil wealth

The provincial minister of finance for the Canadian province of Alberta is seeking advice from Norway on handling billions of dollars in oil revenue.

Iris Evans leaves Edmonton this week to see how Oslo has managed to amass $300 billion in a rainy-day fund since the 1990s from oil profits. Alberta has been saving since the 1970s but has only about $15 billion in its fund, the Edmonton Journal reported.

The newspaper said Norway typically puts as much as 96 percent of its oil revenues directly into savings.

Evans' mission drew praise from Scott Hennig, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

I'm glad she's looking at Norway for tips on savings because they've been doing it right while we've been doing it horribly wrong, Hennig said.

Evans is also scheduled to do some energy policy fact-finding in the Netherlands and Ireland before returning home, her office said.