Norway's Statoil looks for balanced energy mix

Norwegian company two years ago joined European majors in calling for a framework upon which to build a low-carbon economy.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  June 8, 2017 at 6:21 AM
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June 8 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said it's looking to build up its renewable energy portfolio, though oil keeps a dominant role in the global mix.

"Statoil supports the Paris agreement," CEO Eldar Saetre said in a statement. "We believe that being able to produce oil and gas with lower emissions, while also growing in profitable renewables, will give competitive advantages and provide attractive business opportunities in the transition to a low carbon economy."

The company in regular review of the energy sector outlined a goal to steer up to 20 percent of its annual investments toward renewable energy by 2030 with the aim of developing a low-carbon footprint while staying competitive in the market.

Two years ago, the Norwegian energy company joined five of the largest European oil and gas companies in calling on government leaders to develop a framework for a low-carbon economy.

Statoil already counts several projects in its renewable energy portfolio. The company last year unveiled an energy-storage project dubbed Batwind at its Hywind floating offshore wind farm. Through a memorandum of understanding signed with the Scottish government, the company aims to install a Lithium battery storage system within two years.

Saetre said his company supports a sustainable future because failing to transform the global energy system could have devastating ripple effects across a variety of sectors and societies. Nevertheless, the company said the world's appetite for oil remains strong, with demand surging into the 2020s.

"Electric cars and plug-in-hybrids could account for around 90 percent of private cars in 2050, and efficiency will be much higher than today," Statoil Chief Economist Eirik Waerness said. "Still, with heavy duty and maritime transport, aviation and petrochemical industry growth, oil demand will be above 60 million barrels per day."

Statoil put the 2050 oil demand scenario at between 65 million to 120 million barrels per day, compared with its current estimate of 97 million bpd.

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