Monday, December 3, 2007

Heritage Funds

In 1976 Alberta created the Heritage Fund so that future generations of Albertans will get a share of our non-renewable resources. This makes a lot of sense since the people of Alberta own these resources, not the companies that are exploiting them. So how much is in our fund? 15.4 Billion, which I know sounds like a lot, but let's compare that to some other funds around the world.

  • Alberta - established in 1976 has $15.4 Billion
  • Alaska - established in 1976 has $37 Billion (and I thought we were the socialists)
  • Kazakhstan - not sure when established but has $24 Billion
  • Norway - established 1996 has $306 Billion
I'm not going to go into the reasons for this but essentially our government is in love with the oil companies. What I would like to discuss is why Norway's fund is so large since it's 20 years younger than our fund that is pretty surprising (think about the compound interest on our fund that 20 years should have given us).

  1. Norway has much large royalty fees than Alberta.
  2. Norway ensures that a state owned company owns at least 50% of North Sea oil production.
Once upon a time Albertan's had our own state owned oil company, Alberta Energy Corporation, better known as AEC. Of course, Klein sold that to Encana as part of his privatization campaign.

"Furthermore, Norway invests all of its oil and gas revenues in foreign companies and assets so as not to create an inflationary spiral in Norway that would quickly eat up it's oil revenues and drag down the section of it's economy that is non-resource based." - William Marsden, Stupid to the Last Drop.

All of the above numbers are also from Stupid to the Last Drop by William Marsden.

1 comment:

clarkeellis said...

http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2008/01/16/socially_responsible_norway/index.html
Reuters reports that Norway's Government Pension Fund -- Global -- one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds controlling assets worth $380 billion -- is considering whether to step up its efforts to ensure that it only invests its oil money in "ethical ways" ways. On review: the gambling, sex and tobacco industries. Also possible: more investment in green technologies.

The fund already excludes some 25 entities, mostly arms manufacturers and corporations guilty of grievous environmental crimes. But human rights are also a criterion. In 2005, the fund sold its Wal-Mart stake