ELE 3923 Resource Industries and Markets: A Norwegian Context

ELE 3923 Resource Industries and Markets: A Norwegian Context

Course code: 
ELE 3923
Course coordinator: 
Hans-Martin Straume
Ivar Gaasland
Course name in Norwegian: 
Resource Industries and Markets: A Norwegian Context
Product category: 
Bachelor - Programme Electives
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The Norwegian economy depends heavily on natural resource industries, like petroleum, hydropower, fisheries, and aquaculture. These industries are primarily producing commodities that is traded in international markets. Located along the Norwegian coastline, resource industries contribute substantially to regional activity and development, and have also proved the foundation for globally leading supplier industries including future markets and other financial services. The region around Bergen is especially important for oil and gas from the North Sea, aquaculture, and traditional fisheries, and are housing the firms behind future markets for electricity and salmon as well as a number of other services. Large companies within these industries are located in the region, where several have global reach or are subsidiaries of large multinational firms.

This course addresses important topics related to such firms and industries, both from a public policy and private business perspective. For example, how can natural resources be managed in a sustainable way? What characterize firms, markets, and trade in main resource industries? In what way will different regulations affect firm incentives and industry efficiency?             

Relevant theory and methods for economic analysis of natural resource industries will be introduced, including: (i) Sustainable management of renewable and non-renewable resources; (ii) Market places and trade instruments for commodities; and (iii) Environmental issues and related public policy. An important part of the course will be to acquire industry specific knowledge about the different resource industries and relate this to the introduced theories and to the prevailing public policy.    

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completing the course, students shall have acquired knowledge of:

  • Theories, methods and concepts for economic analysis of natural resource industries and markets, including:
    • Sustainable management of renewable and exhaustible natural resources.
    • Global markets and trade in commodities.
    • Environmental challenges and externalities related to exploitation of natural resources, such as emissions, stock depletion, land use change, and biodiversity.
    • Efficient regulation and public policy.
    • Business clusters.       
  • Specific knowledge of natural resource industries important for the Norwegian economy, in particular: aquaculture, fisheries, hydropower and petroleum. For each industry, the students should gain knowledge of:  
    • Firms and technology.
    • Industry structure, organization and clusters.
    • Main markets, price formation and how trade takes place.  
    • Resource management and public policy.
Learning outcomes - Skills

The students should be able to:

  • Relate the industry specific knowledge to the introduced theories and concepts for economic analysis of natural resource industries.
  • Discuss the importance of natural resource industries for the Norwegian economy.
  • Collect information about main markets and trade for different industries.
  • Explain how global commodity markets are organized and work.      
  • Explain and understand the meaning of sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Distinguish between optimal harvest of renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • Identify environmental issues and externalities related to the different industries and discuss efficient policy instruments to correct these externalities.
General Competence

The students will learn to use economic insights to critically analyze different challenges related to resource economics and relevant policy instruments. They should be especially aware of the importance of sustainable resource use.

Course content
  • Natural resources and the Norwegian Economy
  • Renewable- and non-renewable resources 
  • Resource rent
  • Overview over the most important resource industries and markets 
  • Relevant environmental challenges
  • Economic policy and policy instruments targeting resource industries and markets. 
  • Business clusters and regional effects
  • Resource industries and markets - Visions for the future
Teaching and learning activities
  • In-class lectures and interactive exercise seminars.
  • Digital learning resources
  • Guest lectures and interaction with local business clusters.
Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

SØK 3420 Samfunnsøkonomi 1 (Economics 1) or equivalent.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
ELE 39231
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
60 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
225 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
80 Hour(s)
Digital resources
20 Hour(s)
Feedback activities and counselling
15 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 15 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 400 hours.