A Comparative Study of Oil Resource Management in Norway and Nigeria: Lessons for Kenya

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The differences between a natural resource becoming a potential blessing or curse to a resource- rich country all boils down to the management of such specific resource. This study critically analysed why Norway has a better performance in the management of oil resource than Nigeria, with aim of drawing some practical lessons for Kenya as a petroleum emerging host country. The basic  assumption  that  guided  this  study was  that  Norway has  a  better  performance  in  the management of oil resource than Nigeria. The logic structure of the study, therefore, took on a mixed  method  approach,  with  a case  research  design  intended  to  permit  in-depth  study of fundamental aspects of oil management in Norway and Nigeria. The Resource Curse Theory was used as analytical tool in this study since the two countries are in the opposite spectrum in the management of oil resource: Norway is being laballed as an „Icon of Stability,‟ while Nigeria is referred to as a „Resource Curse.‟ The two countries, therefore, offer valuable insights into possible strategies in managing petroleum resources. To achieve the  research objectives, to answer the research questions and to test the research hypotheses, the study particularly focused on the role played by four main aspects in the management of oil resource in the two countries: petroleum policy; institutional design and organisation; regulatory practices; and, fiscal regimes. The study findings showed that the four aspects have given significant results in the context of Norway as compared to Nigeria. This, therefore, explains why Norway has a better performance in the management of oil resource than Nigeria hence confirming the basic assumption in this study that Norway has a better performance in the management of oil resource than Nigeria. The study, therefore, met the research objectives, answered the research questions, confirmed the research hypotheses as well as drew some practical lessons for Kenya as a newly emerging petroleum host country. The study contributes to academic knowledge by adding to the literature in terms of how the four aspects determines and influence the manner in which a nation manages it‟s petroleum resources. Moreover, the conclusion made from the findings of the study was that, well  formulated  and  consistent  petroleum  policies;  establishment  of  well  organized  and competent institutions; robust regulatory frameworks; and, efficient and flexible fiscal regimes; are the key fundamental aspects that greatly shape the management of oil resource in a petroleum resource host country. The study will be relevant and an important reference tool for policy makers, legislators, administrators, development practitioners, oil companies [and other participants in the industry], and professionals who are directly and indirectly involved in the issues regarding to the management of petroleum resources.

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