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Where are Norway's biggest companies located?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Where are Norway's biggest companies located?
Take note - strong regional economies can be good indicators of job opportunities. Photo by Oleksii Topolianskyi / Unsplash

Looking for a job in Norway but still determining which parts of the country offer the most opportunities? We've prepared a breakdown of the top Norwegian counties when it comes to the number of big companies.


Norway's economy relies heavily on a few key industries – including oil and gas, seafood, maritime, and tourism, to name a few. It is no surprise, then, that a lot of Norway's biggest companies are established champions in these industries.

If you're looking to move to Norway, chances are that many available job opportunities will be related to them – and based in the areas of the country where commercial interest is most significant.

Therefore, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Norwegian counties with the biggest companies, as strong regional economies can be good indicators of job opportunities.


The counties with the biggest number of large companies

According to the most recent data published by Statistics Norway (SSB), the list of top counties by the number of big companies – employing more than 250 people – established in them is as follows:

  1. Oslo (603)
  2. Viken (593)
  3. Vestland (316)
  4. Rogaland (304)
  5. Trøndelag (252)
  6. Vestfold og Telemark (185)
  7. Innlandet (167)
  8. Agder (142)
  9. Møre og Romsdal (135)
  10. Troms og Finnmark (113)
  11. Norland (105)

The top four on the list are unsurprising when one takes into account the economic activity in Norway's capital and its surroundings, the economic power of Norway's second-largest city, Bergen, as a seafood and marine hub, as well as the prominence of the oil industry in Rogaland (Stavanger is known as the country's "oil capital").

Here's a look at what makes the high-ranking Norwegian counties above so attractive to big companies.

Oslo: A strong economy and many large employers

Oslo has a great record for ending up at the top of lists that measure economic potential among various European cities.

It's also highly ranked when it comes to the number of companies it has relative to its size, compared to other large cities in Europe.

With its robust economy, it is no surprise that more than 2,600 of the largest companies in Norway have established themselves in the capital.

A number of prominent Norwegian companies in the maritime and oil and gas industry are based in Oslo. The capital's port is the largest cargo port in Norway – millions of tonnes of cargo move through the port on an annual basis (under normal circumstances).

Some of the most prominent Norwegian companies based in Oslo are Norsk Hydro, Orkla, Tine, Nortura, and Schibsted.


Rogaland: The centre of Norway's oil industry

Rogaland is widely known as the centre of the petroleum industry in Norway, and Stavanger – often called the "oil capital of Norway" – is its administrative centre.

The fact that Norway's national oil company Equinor is based in Stavanger speaks for itself. Equinor's presence has served as a magnet to other companies in the industry (and related industries), leading to domestic and international oil and gas corporations ramping up business activity and setting up offices in the area.

Rogaland is the country's most important region for oil and gas exploration, and engineering has affirmed itself as one of its key industries – growing on the back of the offshore petroleum industry.

Some of the most prominent companies based in Rogaland – operating primarily in the realm of energy and related services – include Equinor, Esso Norge, Total E&P Norge, Vår Energi, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, Exxonmobil Exploration And Production Norway, Norske Shell, and Omv Norge.

Furthermore, Jæren in Rogaland is one of Norway's most notable agricultural districts, and the broader Stavanger region is well-respected when it comes to food production.


Vestland: The leading hydropower producer in Norway

Vestland has based much of its industrial development on the fact that it has the largest hydropower production in Norway.

Furthermore, it has a robust shipbuilding industry, and its abundant maritime (especially subsea) expertise has contributed to the top-level status of Norway's oil and offshore industry.

Furthermore, Vestland's marine and fish farming industries account for most of its exports.

The knowledge developed in Vestland enables Norway to be globally recognized as a complete maritime cluster, meaning that it has the know-how, skills, and specialized labour which allows it to provide a complete shipping industry at all levels – from the planning and design to the launch, operations, and related services.

While some of Equinor's and Wintershall's operations are based in Vestland – Bergen, in particular – a host of companies in the seafood and marine industries work out of the region, including TechnipFMC, OneSubsea, Aker Solutions, Leroy Seafood Group, Austevoll Seafood, Marine Harvest, and Grieg Seafood, to mention a few.


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