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Native Americans to meet Norway's wealth fund watchdog over pipeline
March 27, 2017 / 9:45 AM / 8 months ago

Native Americans to meet Norway's wealth fund watchdog over pipeline

OSLO (Reuters) - Standing Rock Sioux tribe representatives will meet the ethics watchdog for Norway’s $915 billion sovereign wealth fund on Monday over a U.S. oil pipeline, a watchdog official said on Monday.

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, in Los Angeles, California, September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

On Sunday, Norway’s largest bank DNB sold its share of loans funding the Dakota Access oil pipeline, ending its involvement in a project that has faced strong opposition from Native Americans and environmental groups.

The pipeline will move crude oil from the U.S. Northern Plains to the Midwest and then on to the Gulf of Mexico. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund holds $248 million in bonds of Energy Transfer Partners LP, which is leading the pipeline project.

The fund has an ethical profile and is not allowed to invest in companies that breach certain guidelines regarding the environment, human rights and corruption, among other criteria.

“We will be meeting them today. They have asked for a meeting and said they would like to meet us,” Eli Ane Lund, head of the secretariat of the fund’s Council on Ethics, told Reuters, declining to give further details.

A meeting with the watchdog does not mean the fund is considering excluding a company. Representatives from non-governmental organizations often meet with Council on Ethics officials.

The fund invests in close to 9,000 companies worldwide.

Some 65 companies are excluded from the fund on ethical grounds, based on the recommendation of the council. Another 69 firms are excluded directly by the fund based on their dependence on thermal coal.

Editing by Susan Thomas

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