In another sign that the petroleum era is drawing to a close, Denmark is selling off its last oil company with barely a peep.
Once considered a strategic asset, on a par with national carriers or shipyards, the oil and gas division of A.P. Moller-Maersk is being bought by French giant Total, Bloomberg reports. The $7.45 billion deal is expected to be completed by 2018.
Coming just three months after the sale of Dong Energy’s North Sea oil and gas production to German-based Ineos, Maersk’s move to offload its oil division has been welcomed by the government and trade unions alike. Even the nationalist Danish People’s Party, which supports the government in parliament, didn’t object.
Dong, a former state utility, is using at least some of the money it made from its divestment to build more offshore wind parks, expanding its dominance as the world’s biggest operator of sea-based wind turbines.
Denmark is also home to Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, and currently gets more than 40 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources. The country’s green sector already employs about 67,000 people, double the number of workers in its North Sea industry.
Peter Kurrild Klitgaard, a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen, told Bloomberg the reason behind the muted political response to Maersk’s sale is due to the fact that "there’s no energy crisis. We have more sources of energy than ever before."