This master thesis examined how the Norwegian industrial corporations associated with the Aker group has progressed during the first decade of the twenty-first century. By using concepts based on institutional economics, globalization theory, and a technological system approach, the study examined how the different companies have positioned themselves in Norway and abroad. This study discussed the main characteristics of the petroleum system, to explain its effects on the research object. The aim was to explore whether there were mechanisms that made the companies dependent on activities on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The thesis concluded that the traditional field development and maintenance activities were more vulnerable to a decline in industrial activity on the Norwegian continental shelf. On the other hand, business areas with more technology and knowledge-intensive activities were less vulnerable. Furthermore, the research showed that the latter activities grew significantly in past ten years, and represented an increasingly larger share of business.
These findings suggested that the company had rationalized towards the global petroleum system over the past decade. Moreover, the thesis suggested that the companies were affected by three main factors. That is, by the internal dynamics between actors in the supplier industry, by the oil companies’ contract policies and governmental policy changes and thirdly, by the momentum of the global petroleum system, taken as a whole.