"OPEC Losing Control of Oil Prices" July 21) contained the following statement about the effect of an all-out price war in oil:
"Analysts say oil exporters who have no other major source of revenue will be the hardest hit, with Algeria, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway and the United Arab Emirates among the more vulnerable to shocks."
It may be unknown to "oil analysts," the Associated Press (which reported the story) and even The Times, but Norway is actually an industrialized country. It is not a Third World nation. Norway was doing quite well before oil started flowing from its North Sea oil fields in the 1970s.
Rather than being the only major source of revenue, oil contributes less than 10% to the country's gross national product. Other industries are: shipping, shipbuilding, metals, chemicals, machinery and electronics. A partial list of products designed and produced in Norway is: stereo receivers, luxury yachts, diesel engines, oil tankers, patrol boats, oil production platforms, minicomputers, data terminals, telephones, modems, tractors, bulldozers, missiles, radar equipment and industrial robots.
I am not saying that a collapse of oil prices would have no effect on the Norwegian economy. Ninety percent of Norway's not insignificant oil resources are available for export. It contributes significantly to the country's positive export/import balance. But to state that Norway has no other major source of revenue reveals a great deal of ignorance about the country.