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Equinor Shakeup Hastens To Move Away From Oil

Norway’s oil major Equinor announced on Monday that its incoming chief executive Anders Opedal – who will replace retiring Eldar Sætre in November – has a mandate from the board of directors to accelerate Equinor’s transition from an oil company to a broad energy company.

Opedal, who was last Executive Vice President Technology, Projects and Drilling at Equinor, will assume the CEO role on November 2.  

“Equinor is entering a phase of significant change as the world needs to take more forceful action to combat climate change. The board’s mandate is for Anders to accelerate our development as a broad energy company and to increase value creation for our shareholders through the energy transition,’’ Jon Erik Reinhardsen, Chair of the Board of Directors at Equinor, said.

“Together, we will accelerate the development of Equinor as a broad energy company and our growth within renewables,” the incoming CEO Opedal said in a statement.

“We can make Equinor a leading company in the energy transition,” Opedal said in a video on the company’s website.

Equinor will aim to focus and improve its oil and gas portfolio and accelerate the development of renewable energy, he added.

“We’ll hunt for every possibility to build new value streams in hydrogen and CCS and all the low-carbon solutions,” Opedal said.

Equinor was one of the first oil majors in Europe to announce ambitions to become a broad energy company when it dropped ‘oil’ from its previous name ‘Statoil’ in 2018.

Early this year, before the pandemic hit the oil markets and industry, Equinor unveiled a plan to reduce the net carbon intensity, from initial production to final consumption, of energy produced by at least 50 percent by 2050. The firm also plans to grow profitably within its renewables business and become a global offshore wind major. Under the plan from February, Equinor targets to grow its renewable energy capacity tenfold by 2026, when it expects production capacity from renewable projects of 4 GW to 6 GW. By 2035, Equinor expects to further boost its installed renewables capacity, to 12 GW-16 GW.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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