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The Norwegian government is embarrassed by a complicated affair revolving around oil production. It all began two years ago, explains Oslo daily Aftenposten, when the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) asked Norway to change its legislation and lift the obligation placed on petrol companies operating in Norway to be based in the country. EFTA is composed of four non-EU members of which three (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) are also members of the European Economic Area. This gives them access to the advantages and obligations linked to the Single European Market, without membership. But, says the paper, while the EU is also demanding the change in the law, this demand has always been kept secret from Parliament. A reform bill is to be submitted on May 31 to the Parliament’s Energy and Environment Committee rather than brought before the Parliament as a whole. The issue of petrol, the country’s major resource is all the more sensitive because the regions concerned by an eventual departure of the oil companies are those in the far North where the money from petrol is essential to development.