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Corporate governance

Image from Johan Sverdrup
From Johan Sverdrup
Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland

In Equinor, we believe that effective corporate governance is the foundation of a well-run business.

Through our governance, we set clear responsibilities for our leaders, employees and partners. We do so because we believe that this is ultimately the best way of creating long-term competitive returns for our shareholders and ensuring that our business is sustainable—in every sense of the word.

I am confident in Equinor and all our people, and in our ability to change and continue creating long-term value for our shareholders in a low carbon future.

Anders OpedalPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Anders Opedal

What is corporate governance?

Effective corporate governance allows a corporation to work smoothly by ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding of the distribution of roles, responsibilities, rights and accountability.

Our Board of Directors actively adheres to good corporate governance standards, and will at all times ensure that Equinor complies with the Norwegian Code of Practice for corporate governance (the “Code of Practice”) or explains any deviations from the Code of Practice. The topic of corporate governance is subject to regular assessment and discussion by the board.

About the Norwegian Code of Practice

Our objectives and principles

Our purpose is turning natural resources into energy for people and progress for society.

We believe that the best way to achieve this goal is through value-based performance culture, stringent ethical requirements and a code of conduct that promotes personal integrity and respect for the environment. Our corporate governance is therefore based on our corporate values and ethical guidelines.

We believe that good corporate governance is more than just a technical exercise—it is instead a fundamental element in the practical work of the company’s governing bodies, and it defines the criteria on which the trust of the company’s shareholders is based.

In addition, the work of the Board of Directors is based on the existence of a clearly-defined division of roles and responsibilities between the shareholders, the Board of Directors and the management in Equinor.

  • All shareholders will be treated equally
  • Equinor will ensure that all shareholders have access to up-to-date, reliable and relevant information about the company’s activities
  • Equinor will have a board of directors that is independent of the group’s management. In accordance with our ethical guidelines, the Board focuses on there not being any conflicts of interest between owners, the Board of Directors and the company’s management.
  • The Board of Directors will base its practical work on the principles for good corporate governance applicable at all times.

The Capital Value Process

The Capital Value Process is a structured approach to developing a project from the first assessment of a new business opportunity to the start-up of profitable operations. As the project matures, it goes through a series of stages, which are separated by decision gates (DG).

At each DG, a choice is made whether or not to proceed with the project. The review process at each DG ensures that decision-makers understand expectations for the end result, that the risk exposure is realistic, and that the decision-making meets our requirements.

Illustration of CVP process with specific decision gates throughout a project
The Capital value Process is a structured approach to developing a project

Shareholders

After our partial privatisation in 2001, we were listed on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges, ensuring broad international ownership. Equinor has one class of shares, with all shares carrying equal right to vote at general meetings.

Decisions which shareholders are entitled to make pursuant to Norwegian law or our articles of association, may be made by a simple majority of the votes cast. In the case of elections, the persons who obtain the most votes cast are deemed elected.

However, certain decisions, including resolutions to waive preferential rights in connection with any share issue, to approve a merger or demerger, to amend our articles of association or to authorise an increase or reduction in our share capital, must receive the approval of at least two-thirds of the aggregate number of votes cast as well as two-thirds of the share capital represented at a shareholders' meeting.

Equinor (then Statoil) was partially privatised with listings on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges on 18 June 2001, and the company was converted from a private limited company to a public limited company.

The Norwegian state as shareholder

Articles of Association

Our Articles of Association define the responsibilities of the directors, the nature of business to be undertaken, and the means by which our shareholders exert control over the board of directors.

All articles of association (PDF)

Compliance with NYSE listing rules

As a foreign private issuer with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Equinor is subject to the NYSE's listing rules, but exempt from most of the NYSE corporate governance standards that domestic US companies must follow. Equinor is nevertheless required to disclose any significant ways in which its corporate governance practices differ from those applicable to domestic US companies under the NYSE rules. Click below for more information.

Compliance with NYSE listing rules