The Norwegian oil adventure has generated a large amount of income to Norway. Meanwhile, the working conditions in the previous decades tended to be poor, and several of the “oil pioneers” have suffered health damages after being exposed to chemicals and toxic materials during their work offshore.
In 2021, the Norwegian parliament set up a commission to create a compensation scheme for the “oil pioneers”. On December 15th, the commission delivered the report NOU 2022:19 The oil pioneers – a compensation scheme, to the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion. The commission concludes that the establishment of a compensation scheme for the “oil pioneers” would be a fair and expedient way to follow-up this group. The commission also suggests different models for the design of a compensation scheme. At the same time, the commission highlights some principal aspects related to special treatment of individual groups within an industry.
Oslo Economics has assisted the commission with analyses of the economic and administrative consequences of different compensation scheme models. The costs of a compensation scheme will vary with several billions depending on which decades that are included in the “oil pioneer era”, which occupational groups will be covered by the scheme, and the type of documentation regarding diseases and injuries required to receive compensation. Oslo Economics has also assisted the commission with analyses and documentation about the number of employees working offshore in the “oil pioneer era”, and the scope and results of previous insurance claims among oil workers in the legal system.
The report is now sent on a hearing before it will be processed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion. The Ministry will then make a recommendation to the Norwegian parliament, which will eventually make the final decision regarding the compensation scheme.