Equinor’s new CEO makes net zero vow

New management took the reins at Norwegian energy giant Equinor today vowing to make the company net zero by 2050, led by huge investments in offshore wind.

Anders Opedal took over today from Eldar Sætre as CEO and president at Equinor, a company formerly known as Statoil. He immediately unveiled plans to make Equinor a net-zero energy company by 2050, following the likes of Shell and BP in making such a commitment. The ambition laid out by Opedal includes emissions from production and final consumption of energy.

Value creation, not volume replacement, is and will be guiding Equinor’s decisions

“Equinor is committed to being a leader in the energy transition. It is a sound business strategy to ensure long-term competitiveness during a period of profound changes in the energy systems as society moves towards net zero. Over the coming months, we will update our strategy to continue to create value for our shareholders and to realise this ambition,” Opedal said.

Earlier this year, Equinor announced its plans to achieve carbon neutral global operations by 2030 and to reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Norway to near zero by 2050. At the same time, Equinor outlined a value-driven strategy for significant growth within renewables, as well as a new net carbon intensity ambition.

Equinor expects to deliver an average annual oil and gas production growth of around 3% from 2019 to 2026.

In a release today, the company stated: “Equinor is preparing for an expected gradual decline in global demand for oil and gas from around 2030 onwards. Value creation, not volume replacement, is and will be guiding Equinor’s decisions. In the longer term, Equinor expects to produce less oil and gas than today.”

To develop Equinor as a broad energy company, renewables will be a significant growth area. Equinor has previously set ambitions for profitable growth within renewables and expects a production capacity of 4-6 Gigawatts (GW) by 2026 and 12-16 GW by 2035. Equinor now plans to expand its acquisition of wind acreage and it will establish renewables as a separate reporting segment from the first quarter next year.

Other projects the company is working on include carbon capture and storage as well as developing hydrogen as a fuel.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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