How great to be an oil explorer in Norway?

I hadn't realized until the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) started investigation just recently, that Norway lets companies deduct 78% of their exploration costs from taxable income. They've been reimbursed directly in cash for this since 2005 (for those without taxable income). Now it's coming under question by EFTA with groups like Bellona saying this is 'state aid'.

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