CEO Eldar Sætre has worked for 38 years for Statoil:
“Why I think it was right to change our name.”
Oil has been removed from our name. But Equinor will continue to invest in oil and gas—while transforming into a broad energy company.
In this story you can read about: ** What Equinor means. Why we’re investing in renewable energy. Join us on the offshore hotel which will be Norway’s third largest hotel. **
The General Assembly has just adopted the announcement that was made two months ago: Statoil will be renamed Equinor — a decision that awakens feelings in many of us. Some are positive, while others are more sceptical to the change.
We meet CEO Eldar Sætre at what is now Equinor’s guesthouse at Solastranden, the picturesque sand dunes at Sola near Stavanger—to discover more about what the change means and why he is changing a brand that matters so much to so many Norwegians.
“I think it will take some time before it becomes natural for me to say Equinor,” laughs Sætre.
He grew up in Vartdal in Sunnmøre, and has worked in Statoil for his entire career. Now he’s in his fourth year as CEO and 38th in total for the company.
“I have great respect and sympathy for the differing opinions out there. Statoil has almost become a separate term, a concept in its own right. But I have to think of future generations who don’t necessarily have the same relationship to the ‘concept’ of Statoil,” he says.
Although Sætre acknowledges that it may take time to get used to using Equinor on a daily basis, he’s very clear that the change is for the better.
ACCOMMODATION MODULE: The living quarters for Johan Sverdrup atop a barge at the Aker Kværner yard.
Photo: VG PARTNERSTUDIO
What’s your view on pumping a lot of non-renewable energy into a world that’s increasingly affected by pollution?
“It's a dilemma, of course. But I think it gives us a will and a drive to do it in as environmentally-friendly manner as possible. The world needs energy, oil included, and we have to make sure that we provide it in a good way.”
And that’s certainly the case with Equinor’s oil production at the Johan Sverdrup field. After 2019, its annual production will reduce CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 200,000 cars—or 400,000 tonnes of CO2.
That’s because the average emissions from producing a barrel of oil are around 17 kg of CO2 per barrel, worldwide. At Johan Sverdrup, that figure is a mere 0.5kg. Oil and gas from Equinor’s giant new field will therefore be more than 30 times cleaner than the global average, and 18 times cleaner than the rest of the company’s production in Norway. (Equinor’s average emissions per barrel in Norway are currently around 9 kg of CO2).
“That’s due to the fact that the field will be powered by electricity from shore — reducing offshore emissions by 80-90 percent compared to a conventional development with gas turbines on the Norwegian shelf,” explains Holmen.
Johan Sverdrup is therefore absolutely essential to Equinor’s plan to reach its climate target emissions cuts from the Norwegian continental shelf by 2 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.
We walk out to the enormous accommodation platform. There’s still a lot to do before everything is finished, but it’s fascinating to see how big everything is.
“The building we are standing in now will be able to accommodate no fewer than 560 people, making it Norway’s third largest hotel — far out in the North Sea. It’s just incredibly impressive that it’s possible. And the view is amazing, there’s probably no hotel where so many of the rooms have sea views!” she says.