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People overlooking the sea. Photo
Photo: Einar Aslaksen
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  3. Our business model

Our business model

In recent years we have evolved our business model significantly with the global shift towards sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, with an ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050.

Our business model is underpinned by a strong emphasis on safety, stakeholder engagement, and adherence to regulatory standards.

Upstream operations (exploration and production): The core of our business has been rooted in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas, including operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (where we are the largest operator) and international oil and gas production in various parts of the world.

Downstream operations: Our downstream operations include refining, marketing, and distributing oil and gas products, but our downstream presence was considerably reduced following the sale of Statoil Fuel & Retail to Alimentation Couche-Tard in April 2012.

Renewable energy: In recent years, we have made significant investments in offshore wind farms, solar energy, and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects. Our goal is to transition from being a traditional oil and gas company to becoming a broader energy company, reducing the carbon intensity of our products in the process.

Research and development: We invest heavily in research, technological developments and digitalisation to optimise our production, enhance recovery rates from existing fields, and develop new energy solutions that are more environmentally friendly.

Strategic partnerships: We frequently collaborate with other industry players, technology firms, and even governments. These partnerships can help share risks, costs, and expertise, especially when entering new markets or developing large-scale projects.

Sustainability and low carbon strategy: Recognizing the global shift towards cleaner energy sources and the need to combat climate change, we have integrated sustainability into our business strategy. We have set ambitious targets to reduce our carbon emissions and intensify our push into renewable energy.

Two workers at the  Northern Lights project. Photo
Workers at our Northern Lights project.
Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Key target markets

Our key markets include:

Norway: Although we are the largest oil and gas operator on the Norwegian continental shelf and a key supplier to the Norwegian domestic market, most of Norway's oil and gas production is exported, due to Norway's small population and the fact that Norwegian domestic electricity needs are largely met through hydropower.

Europe: Europe is a key market for us, particularly Western Europe, and following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, we are now the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe, particularly to the UK, Germany, and France.

United States: The US is another major market for us, particularly in the offshore oil and gas sector in the Gulf of Mexico. We also have significant investments in onshore shale oil and gas operations in the US, and we also have significant activities in wind power.

Brazil: We have invested heavily in Brazil's offshore oil fields and we regard the country as being a key growth area for hydrocarbons and solar.

Renewable energy: We are investing strongly in renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind farms and solar power, in particular in the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Poland, the US and Brazil.

Equinor value chain 2024 illustration showing our business interests
Equinor value chain 2024
Wind turbines. Photo
Hywind Tampen.
Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Our peers and competitors

Given the capital-intensive nature of the energy sector, it is common for competitors to form partnerships or joint ventures on specific projects, especially when exploring new regions or developing complex infrastructures, enabling us to share risks, costs, and expertise.

Our peers, partners and competitors include bp (British Petroleum), ExxonMobil, Shell (Royal Dutch Shell), Chevron, TotalEnergies, ConocoPhillips, and Eni, as well as a larger number of other international renewable energy developers.

Differentiation from competitors

Although most of our peers have set net zero emission ambitions for 2050, we have set a further ambition to reduce the net carbon intensity (NCI) of the energy we provide by 20% by 2030, including scope 3 emissions from the use of our products. We are also investing heavily in offshore wind and other renewable sources and intend to play a leading role in the energy transition.