The service and supply industry

The service and supply industry is Norway’s second-largest industry measured in terms of turnover, after the oil and gas industry, and includes more than 1 250 companies. After more than 40 years of petroleum activities, the industry has developed cutting-edge expertise and is internationally competitive.

The management of Norway’s energy resources shall be carried out with a long-term perspective, such that they benefit Norwegian society as a whole. This shall be achieved by continuing to ensure both employment and value creation, among other things, throughout the country (to reinforce Norwegian industry and industrial development.)

The service and supply industry for the petroleum sector has seen a strong growth in its more than 50 years of petroleum operations in Norway, and is now a highly competent and internationally competitive industry. In regard to turnover, the service and supply industry now serves as Norway's second largest industry (after the sale of oil and gas), and consists of just over 1,000 companies. According to an analysis carried out by Rystad Energy, the Norwegian service and supply industry saw a turnover of NOK 397 billion in 2019, with around 30% coming from international markets.

With a turnover of NOK 397 billion in 2019, the service and supply industry serves as Norway's second largest industry (after the production and sale of oil and gas)

The Norwegian continental shelf - a laboratory for developing new technologyNorway’s strong foundation as an industry and maritime nation offers an explanation for the growth of this technologically advanced, world-leading service and supply industry. Other reasons for this can be attributed to the Norwegian continental shelf’s strict regulations, demanding operating companies and harsh weather conditions in the North Sea. In many ways, the Norwegian continental shelf has functioned as a laboratory of sorts, in which offshore operators have had to solve technological challenges in order to be able to extract the petroleum resources.

Today, the Norwegian continental shelf is one of the world’s major offshore markets. This provides the service and supply industry a considerable domestic market and has helped form the basis for employment across every region of the country.

Of the approximately 160,000 employees working in the petroleum-specific service and supply industry, operating companies within Norway employ around 28,000 people. In addition, the employment effects from the industry's exports in 2019 are estimated to correspond to approx. 50,000 people.

The extent of the industry
The service and supply industry is represented throughout the entire country. The region around Stavanger employs the most and contributes to a wide range of goods and services. Elsewhere in the country, it is typical to see several companies operating within geographically restricted areas as well as the same segment, in so-called clusters. Oslo and Akershus are home to a well-established engineering environment, alongside a wide range of companies providing knowledge-based services for petroleum operations, and a concentration of seismology companies. Trondheim is a particularly strong contributor when it comes to research and education, while the Bergen region has become a centre for platform and underwater equipment maintenance. In Buskerud, especially in Kongsberg, they have gradually developed a strong environment for work related to subsea-technology, automation and dynamic positioning equipment. Southern Norway has contributed with its world-leading companies specialising in drilling technology, while the northern region of Western Norway has contributed with the establishing of a maritime cluster, representing a complete shipbuilding and shipping equipment network for advanced offshore vessels, among other things.

The specialised and technology-intensive service and supply industry contributes to a knowledge base that has proved valuable to various areas of society. There are numerous examples that show how technology created for the petroleum industry are currently being applied to other areas than the sector it was originally developed for.


International success
Of a total turnover of NOK 397 billion in 2019 for the petroleum-specific service and supply industry in Norway, around 30% of this comes from the international markets. This corresponds to around NOK 120 billion (Rystad Energi, Internasjonal omsetning fra norske oljeserviceselskaper (International turnover for the Norwegian oil service companies) October 2020).

Topside and processing equipment (incl. equipment for drilling rigs) is the segment with the highest international turnover. The second largest is the segment dedicated to operational and professional services, followed by that of subsea equipment and installation.

As measured according to their turnover, the five largest markets in 2019 (see the report Internasjonal omsetning fra norske oljeserviceselskaper (International turnover for the Norwegian oil service companies)) belonged to the UK, USA and Brazil.  The shipbuilding nations of Singapore and South Korea are important markets in regard to their drilling packages and other equipment that is used on the platform deck and rigs.

The service and supply industry for the petroleum sector has, for several years, been in a state of transformation as a result of changes in the market; first following the oil price plunge of 2014, and now due to the coronavirus pandemic. A stronger focus on the climate with greater efforts being made within renewable energy and low carbon solutions have contributed as another significant driving force.


Oil and gas operations will continue to provide a base for the service and supply industry for many years. However, the renewable energy sector and its associated sectors will also provide considerable, complementary opportunities in the future. The petroleum-specific service and supply industry has long seen a great potential within the renewable energy sector, specifically when it comes to offshore wind, which shares many common features with offshore petroleum operations.

Renewable energy and related industries

The onshore energy industry is often referred to as the renewable energy industry, or the power sector. This consists of the following sectors: hydroelectric power; wind power (onshore and offshore); solar power; and bioenergy. In addition, the power grid and power market/sales both serve as important related industries and are a part of the entire value chain, from power production to consumption.

The renewable energy industry in Norway witnessed a record-breaking turnover in 2019 with a total of NOK 45.1 billion according to a study carried out by Multiconsult, commissioned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Export Credit Norway and Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP). This showed a growth of nearly 30 per cent from NOK 35.2 billion in 2018. Every sector helped to increase the total turnover in 2019. The national turnover (turnover of sales to customers in Norway) was NOK 25.9 billion in 2019 (up nearly 30 per cent from NOK 20.5 billion in 2018). Together, the export turnover and international turnover accounted for NOK 19.2 billion. The turnover for the renewable energy industry is lower than that of the petroleum industry, but this is an industry showing rapid growth internationally.

The total number of employees in the Norwegian renewable energy sector amounted to 14,447 full-time positions in 2019. All of the sectors have remained relatively stable. The hydroelectric energy sector continued to be the sector with the highest number of employees at 52%, followed by the offshore wind power sector with 17%, then onshore wind power and solar energy (with 13% each) and finally bioenergy (5%).[1] This industry is therefore important when it comes to nationwide employment.

Closely related industries form the power grid, for which the national turnover in 2019 came to NOK 10.5 billion for the entire power grid sector, an increase of around 20 per cent from 2018. Equipment supply and development account for the largest segments (around 90 per cent together). International turnover amounted to NOK 4.1 billion, for which 70% came from the export turnover. Over half of the international turnover comes from supplying equipment. The total number of employees in the power grid sector amounted to around 11,800 full-time positions. This level has remained stable since 2018. This includes all segments, as well as the employees working within distribution and transmission.

The power market is split between energy suppliers who sell power to end users, and consultants including other service providers. The latter group consists of companies whose primary activities encompass power brokerage, power trading, and more. In 2019, the value of services offered by consultants and other service providers operating within the power market amounted to approx. NOK 1.5 billion (The power suppliers employed approx. 1,400 full-time positions in their activities regarding the sale of power to end users. In addition, just under 500 full-time positions were recorded in connection with consulting and other services.

Export and internationalisation

The export of goods and services from Norwegian energy industries is important for employment and value creation in Norway. The authorities have therefore contributed to this through various export-specific measures, such that the country’s energy sectors, including both the petroleum and renewable energy industries, can further establish themselves among the international markets. When it comes to the energy industries, Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP) serve as the government’s most important resource.

NORWEP  -  the authorities’ most important resource for internationalisation of Norway’s energy industries

Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP) is a successful public-private partnership and has been established by the Norwegian authorities, including the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, as well as the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, EnergiNorge, the Federation of Norwegian Industries, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, Equinor and Statkraft. NORWEP provides consultancy services in 26 different markets, in addition to a number of other services that are important for Norway-based companies that operate internationally. The purpose of NORWEP is to contribute to increasing value creation and employment in Norway by working on expanding exports from all areas of Norway’s energy industry. Read more here:

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