March 23 (UPI) -- The winners in the global energy sector will be the companies that embrace both low-carbon and low-cost opportunities, Norwegian major Statoil said.
The Norwegian company published its annual sustainability report on Friday, highlighting plans to invest around 25 percent of its research funds in new energy and energy efficiency in the next two years.
Last year, the company charted a course toward cutting carbon from its oil and gas portfolio and reducing annual emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas.
"In Statoil we believe the winners in the energy transition will be the producers which can deliver at low cost and with low carbon emissions," CEO Eldar Sætre said in the report. "We also believe there are attractive business opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy."
The company last year cut CO2 from oil and gas production by 10 percent from 2016 levels.
For renewables, the company's Hywind wind farm has a design capacity of 30 megawatts. It's located about 15 miles off the Scottish coast and can produce enough energy to service 20,000 average households. Its Dudgeon wind farm, about 25 miles off the coast of Norfolk, can meet the energy demands of around 410,000 average households at its peak.
Statoil started a rebranding campaign last week that would begin with a name change that eliminates "oil" from its moniker. The board of directors proposed a name change to Equinor -- drawing in part on words like "equal" and "nor" to signify its Norwegian roots.
"Statoil will continue its journey from a focused oil and gas to a broad energy company," Sætre said Friday.
Norges Bank, the country's central bank, said in a letter to the Finance Ministry last year it was recommending the removal of oil and gas stocks from the benchmark Government Pension Fund Global, arguing that it would make Norwegian government wealth less exposed to a "permanent drop in oil and gas prices."