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Equinor CEO: High Energy Bills Are Here To Stay For The UK

Energy bills in the UK are not expected to return to the levels from before Covid as the energy markets are very different now with the lack of Russian oil and gas, Equinor’s chief executive officer Anders Opedal told the BBC in an interview published on Monday.

Gas and electricity bills for UK households will be slightly higher, according to Opedal, than before Covid and Ukraine war times, when a typical UK household paid some $1,590 (£1,300) on energy bills per year.   

Currently, the annual bill of a typical UK household is around two times higher. 

Accelerating the adoption of renewables “will require a lot of investment and these investments need to be paid for, so I would assume that the energy bills may slightly be higher than in the past but not as volatile and high as we have today,” Opedal told the BBC.

In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the significant cuts of Russian gas flows to Europe, “we need to treat energy as something that is not abundant,” Equinor’s chief executive said.

Operators need to make sure they are making the right investments in energy and people should conserve energy, after the end of what was perceived as an era in which the world had a lot of cheaper energy, according to Opedal.

Specifically for the UK, the recent hike in the windfall tax on North Sea operators is making companies, including Equinor, to carefully assess the impact of the raised taxes.

“It is affecting how we judge each project because we have to take into account what is the tax level compared to what are all the other risks,” Opedal told the BBC, but noted that the windfall tax hasn’t affected the investment strategy of Equinor in the UK.

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Equinor is proposing developing the Rosebank oil and gas field, off the coast of the Shetland Islands, with a final investment decision expected in 2023.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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