Petroleum Industry Transformations: Lessons from Norway and Beyond, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Petroleum Industry Transformations

Lessons from Norway and Beyond, 1st Edition

Edited by Taran Thune, Ole Andreas Engen, Olav Wicken


272 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Taking the case of the Norwegian petroleum industry as its vantage point, the book discusses the question of industrial transformations in resource-based industries. The book presents new, empirically-based analyses of the development of the petroleum industry, with an emphasis on three ongoing transformation processes:

  • Technological upgrading and innovation in upstream petroleum.
  • Globalisation of the petroleum industry and suppliers’ experiences of entering foreign markets.
  • Diversification into and out of petroleum – and the potential for new growth paths after oil.

Drawing together a range of key thinkers in this field, this volume addresses the ways in which the petroleum industry and its supply industry has changed since the turn of the millennium. It provides recommendations for the development of resource economies in general and petroleum economies in particular.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of energy policy and economics, natural resource management, innovation studies and the politics of the oil and gas sector.


"Petroleum economies have long been analyzed macro-economically as suffering from the "resource curse". This book offers a long-awaited alternative view based on a knowledge economy perspective. Petroleum economies can benefit from complex knowledge built up in supplier industries to diversify into new and promising industries. The case of Norway, central to this book, serves as an example for many other resource-based economies worldwide." -- Koen Frenken, Professor in Innovation Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands

"This book reveals the dynamics of natural resources when developed by a capability rich institutional regime. The petroleum sector in Norway is not only a success story, it has also transformed the innovation models of the global petroleum industry. The book is a must for those who want to understand today´s offshore industry as well as for those who want to prepare for the transitions to come." -- Staffan Laestadius, Professor Emeritus, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

"The oil and gas industry remains the largest in the world by a long way: it is the resource at the heart of the industrial system. This path-breaking book explores one of its most dynamic national bases [Norway]. It offers unique insights into oil's innovation paths, its industrial trajectories, its economic impacts and its future." --Keith Smith, Professor at Imperial Business School, UK

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Contributors


List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1 - Transformations in petroleum: Innovation, globalisation and diversification

By Taran Thune, Ole Andreas Engen and Olav Wicken


Chapter 2 - The evolving sectoral innovation system for upstream oil and gas in Norway

By Ole Andreas Engen, Erlend Osland Simensen and Taran Thune

Chapter 3 - Innovation in the petroleum value chain and the role of supply companies

By Erlend Osland Simensen and Taran Thune

Chapter 4 - Knowledge networks and innovation among subsea firms

By Nina Hjertvikrem & Rune Dahl Fitjar

Chapter 5 - Cost-cutting as an innovation driver among suppliers during an industry downturn

By Jakoba Sraml Gonzalez

Chapter 6 - Norwegian rig service industry: Innovations in contractual relations.

By Petter Osmundsen


Chapter 7 - Born national – going global

By Helge Ryggvik & Ole Andreas Engen

Chapter 8 - Norwegian suppliers in Brazil

By Helge Ryggvik, Ole Andreas Engen and Antonio José Junqueira Botelho

Chapter 9 - Supply companies and the political economy of platform concepts in the U.S Gulf of Mexico

By Helge Ryggvik

Chapter 10 - Steel, Staff and Solutions: Past, present and future prospects for employment in the Norwegian-based petroleum supply industry

By Atle Blomgren and Christian Quale


Chapter 11- Versatile competences and product market diversification among oil and gas supply firms

By Taran Thune and Tuukka Mäkitie

Chapter 12 - Diversification into new markets: Challenges and opportunities for petroleum supply firms

By Allan Dahl Andersen and Magnus Gulbrandsen

Chapter 13 - From oil to wind, and back again: Resource redeployment and diversification

By Tuukka Mäkitie, Taran Thune and Jakoba Sraml Gonzalez


Chapter 14 - The resource endowment challenge: Extending the value chain

By Øystein Noreng

Chapter 15 - Collaborative innovation in the Norwegian oil & gas industry: Surprise or sign of a new economy-wide paradigm?

By Charles Sabel and Gary Herrigel

About the Editors

Taran Thune is Professor in the Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Ole Andreas Engen is a Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway.

Olav Wicken is Professor in the Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo, Norway.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Energy Transitions

Considerable interest exists today in energy transitions. Whether one looks at diverse efforts to decarbonize, or strategies to improve the access levels, security and innovation in energy systems, one finds that change in energy systems is a prime priority.

Routledge Studies in Energy Transitions aims to advance the thinking which underlies these efforts. The series connects distinct lines of inquiry from planning and policy, engineering and the natural sciences, history of technology, STS, and management. In doing so, it provides primary references that function like a set of international, technical meetings. Single and co-authored monographs are welcome, as well as edited volumes relating to themes, like resilience and system risk.

Key focus areas: Technology change and fuel substitution, centralized-decentralized shifts, new business models and market redesign, innovation systems, governance levers/approaches or economics in transitions, etc. Writing on different types of energy transitions is encouraged. 

Dr. Kathleen Araújo is the Director of the Energy Policy Institute with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, a consortium of public universities, Idaho National Laboratory, and industry. She is also an Associate Professor in the School of Public Service at Boise State University, where she specializes in policy and innovation systems associated with energy transitions and industrial development.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for this series, please contact Annabelle Harris, Editor for Environment and Sustainability: [email protected]

Series Advisory Board

Morgan Bazilian, Columbia University, Center for Global Energy Policy (US)

Thomas Birkland, North Carolina State University (US)

Aleh Cherp, Central European University (CEU, Budapest) and Lund University

Mohamed El-Ashry, UN Foundation

Jose Goldemberg, Universidade de Sao Paolo (Brasil) and UN Development Program, World Energy Assessment

Michael Howlett, Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Jon Ingimarsson, Landsvirkjun, National Power Company (Iceland)

Michael Jefferson, ESCP Europe Business School

Jessica Jewell, IIASA (Austria)

Florian Kern, University of Sussex, Science Policy Research Unit and Sussex Energy Group (United Kingdom)

Derk Loorbach, DRIFT (Netherlands)

Jochen Markard, ETH (Switzerland)

Nabojsa Nakicenovic, IIASA (Austria)

Martin Pasqualetti, Arizona State University, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning (US)

Mark Radka, UN Environment Programme, Energy, Climate, and Technology

Rob Raven, Utrecht University (Netherlands)

Roberto Schaeffer, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Energy Planning Program, COPPE (Brasil)

Miranda Schreurs, Technische Universität Mūnchen, Bavarian School of Public Policy (Germany)

Vaclav Smil, University of Manitoba and Royal Society of Canada (Canada)

Benjamin Sovacool, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Fossil Fuels