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Norway’s Equinor Pursues Oil, Gas, Renewable Investments In India

Norway’s oil and gas major Equinor is considering investment opportunities in India’s oil, gas, and renewables industries, chief executive Eldar Sætre told Reuters on the sidelines of an event on Wednesday.

“We are looking at India both from oil and gas, but also from the renewables,” Sætre told Reuters, noting that it’s a very early stage but “we need to be on the ground.”

Separately, Equinor is also exploring opportunities for investing in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, although it’s not something that the Norwegian firm needs to develop—it’s just one of the opportunities that it is considering, the company’s CEO told Reuters.

Earlier this month, Equinor and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) agreed to jointly explore unconventional gas opportunities in China and conventional oil and gas production internationally, Al Cook, Equinor’s executive vice president of strategy, said at a Norway-China energy seminar.

China, alongside India, is the key driver of oil demand growth, and both countries have ambitious plans for natural gas and renewables. India is expected to overtake China some time next decade as the largest growth market for energy, so Equinor has set its sights on investing in India.

In renewables, Equinor is very active in offshore wind, and its current offshore wind portfolio has the capacity to provide more than 1 million European homes with renewable energy.

Yet, Equinor—like all other oil majors—invests much smaller amounts of money in renewables, while continuing to invest the bulk of its spending into oil and gas.

India, for its part, will see its energy consumption growing at the fastest rate among all major economies by 2040, according to the BP Energy Outlook 2018. India is expected to overtake China as the largest growth market for energy by the late 2020s. Renewables will become the second largest source of domestic energy production overtaking gas and then oil by 2020, BP says. Yet, India’s energy mix is seen evolving very slowly with fossil fuels meeting 82 percent of demand in 2040, down from 93 percent in 2016, according to BP.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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