The plunge in global oil prices forced the Norwegian government to start using its $900 billion national oil fund, said Yngve Slyngstad, the director of the fund, according to Bloomberg.
Norway has a rule according to which the government has a right to cap the use of the oil fund's money. However, the current minority coalition announced in late 2014 that it would use a record 164 billion kroner ($21.8 billion) in 2015, or nearly 3 percent of the oil fund.
Vast oil reserves in the North Sea made Norway a very wealthy country. The national oil fund was designed to keep some of Norway's wealth for future generations. So far, the fund helped to keep the country's economic problems, such as joblessness and a shrinking economy, at bay.
The oil industry accounts for almost a quarter of Norway's GDP. Knowing that they need to do something to avoid future economic shocks when oil prices get low, the Norwegian government has been trying to diversify their economy.