Think of this as Volume 17, Number 36 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
Its history as an independent state only goes back to 1905, when the people “asked” for independence and Sweden gave it, because it would cost Sweden too much to keep it.
Sweden didn't know about the oil. Back then, oil was refined for kerosene and paraffin. It mainly existed for heat and light, not transportation. It was inexpensive, and plentiful.
Back in 1905 Texans had just found it in vast pools just a few hundred feet down, at Spindletop. No one imagined that demand from gasoline-fueled cars would become so vast as to make oil into black gold, or that technology would advance to the point where you could drill for oil over four miles deep from far offshore.
What's now Norway had, by 1905, been the property of other Scandinavian kings for 300 years, first belonging to Denmark, then being given to Sweden in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat.