Saturday 16 May 2015

Norway's Statoil: New CEO + New Emphasis on Renewables and Low Carbon Activities By Andrew Lee in London, Recharge News, Feb+May 2015

New Statoil boss signals renewable energy ambitions

Statoil is already a player in renewables with the Hywind initiative
Statoil is already a player in renewables with the Hywind initiative

Eldar Sætre – who has been acting CEO since October – said the oil and gas group will make low-carbon initiatives one of the three main pillars of its future strategy, and will “increase the speed” of its transition.
The new boss – who led Statoil’s renewable energy division before taking the acting CEO reins – said: “We will strengthen our efforts in the transition to a low carbon society.
“Competitiveness and sustainability is of critical importance, either in oil and gas production or future projects in renewable energy."
Statoil is a partner with Norwegian compatriot Statkraft in several major UK offshore wind projects and is a leading developer of floating wind systems via the Hywind initiative.
Power utility Statkraft has already announced its own global renewables ambitions, signalling it may invest up to $8bn globally in clean-energy sources.
Like other fossil energy-based groups, Sætre admitted that “we have our work cut out for us” amid current market conditions, but claimed Statoil is well prepared for the challenge.
Accepting the CEO role permanently represents a change of mind for Sætre, who initially said he would not be a candidate.
Sætre will earn a basic salary of NKr7.7m ($1.02m), NKr5.5m of which goes towards his pension. He replaces Helge Lund, who left to head the UK’s BG Group.

Norwegian fossil giant Statoil sets up renewable energy division

Irene Rummelhoff, EVP of Statoil's New Energy Solutions business
Irene Rummelhoff, EVP of Statoil's New Energy Solutions business

Statoil’s New Energy Solutions (NES) division will “gradually complement the oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy and other low-carbon energy solutions”, said CEO Eldar Sætre.
NES will be led by Irene Rummelhoff, formerly senior vice president for exploration, Norway, who will report directly to Sætre.
NES will initially comprise Statoil’s existing offshore wind activities, including UK offshore wind development in conjunction with Norwegian compatriot Statkraft andfloating wind systems via the Hywind initiative.
Statoil said the unit will “grow and potentially expand into other sources of renewable energy, while also considering appropriate financial structures. The business area will seek new opportunities to deliver attractive returns through technology and business innovation, as well as venture activities”.
A detailed plan for the NES division's strategy will now be drawn up by Rummelhoff and her colleagues.
Sætre – himself a former head of renewables activities at Statoil before taking the top job earlier this year – had earlier pledged to make low-carbon activities one of its key priorities.
Statoil becomes the latest of Europe’s energy majors to commit to renewables.
Notable examples include German utility E.ON, which is hiving off its conventional energy activities altogether, andENGIE – formerly GDF Suez – which changed its name in a bid to show its dedication to a clean-energy future.
There have also been reports that Denmark’s Dong Energy – the world’s biggest offshore wind operator – could decide to spin-off its oil and gas activities later this year.
The creation of the Statoil NES unit came amid a major shake-up of the energy group’s senior management by Sætre, who earlier this year admitted the company “has its work cut out” in current market conditions.

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