Oil and gas have been produced on the Norwegian continental shelf since 1971. Exploration rates, extraction rates, employment, expertise levels, exports of oil and gas have all increased many fold during 1971-‐2013. The State has several roles in the Norwegian petroleum sector including basic research provider, allocator of exploration rights, investor, infrastructure owner, taxation collector, Sovereign Wealth Fund owner. In this paper I review the development of the petroleum sector in Norway, and highlight the various roles of the State in the development of the sector. The paper provides an overview of the macroeconomic importance of oil and gas in the Norwegian economy and critiques selected petroleum related policies.