Active discussion and crucial decisions at the Annual General Meeting
CEO Helge Lund used part of his speech to talk about the oil sand project in Canada. (Photo: Hild Bjelland Vik)
The hall was filled to the last chair when StatoilHydro’s Annual General Meeting for 2009 was held in Stavanger on Tuesday 19 May.
The situation has changed completely since the last shareholder meeting: Last year, the setting was characterised by a tight supplier market and record-high oil prices. This year, financial crises and low oil prices formed the backdrop.
”These are the most significant fluctuations I have seen during my 25 years in this industry. That is why it is particularly gratifying to see that the company has delivered on its targets for 2008,” Svein Rennemo, chair of the Board of Directors, said in his speech.
In addition to an account of the board’s work, Rennemo presented the proposal of a new name and mission statement for the group.
“The proposal is Statoil ASA – which is a good name for the company,” he concluded.
In addition to the change of name, the board proposed to include ”other energy forms” in section 1 in the Articles of Association, where the company’s activities are described. Through this, the board wanted to make the company’s efforts in wind power, bio fuels and hydrogen more visible.
Chair of StatoilHydro’s board of directors, Svein Rennemo, presenter the proposal for new name and mission statement.(Photo: Hild Bjelland Vik)
Explained oil sand activities
Helge Lund also addressed the turbulence in the global economy in his presentation:
“The financial crisis makes us change our pace. We need to make adjustments in the short run, but we will not change our course,” he stated.
Through its shareholding in StatoilHydro, the environmental organisation Greenpeace had submitted a proposal to the Annual General Meeting to exit the company from its oil sand activities in Canada. Due to this, Lund used parts of his speech to explain StatoilHydro’s oil sand position in Canada.
Great need of resources
”Production is falling steeply from oil fields all over the world, and providing enough energy to a market with increasing demand is a huge challenge. The global energy supply cannot be simplified to a question of renewable energy or oil and gas, we are dependent on both,” emphasized Lund.
Lund accounted for a number of aspects related to the oil sand project and informed about the efforts which are now being made in several areas in order to find a commercial and sustainable way of running these operations.
Believes in development
”I am convinced that we can contribute in a positive way when it comes to solving the challenges related to this type of operation, and that we will be in the forefront regarding environmentally acceptable development and production of the oil sand resources,” Lund said.
Some of the shareholders emphasized their expectations that StatoilHydro should show responsibility in pursuing the oil sand project.
The discussion was concluded with a vote, where approximately 0.15 percent of the shares in StatoilHydro voted in favour of Greenpeace’s proposal, which consequently was voted down.
“I do not agree with you,” Helge Lund said to the head of Greenpeace Norway, Truls Gulowsen.
“However, I would like to commend you for the way you have acted in this issue. We are prepared to participate in such discussions, and we will continue to be transparent and argue in favour of our view, said the chief executive.