Statoil cuts oil from its brand but not its business

Just don't mention the oil.

June 2018

What’s in a name?

Norwegian energy giant Statoil has become ‘Equinor’ — inspired by ‘words like equal, equality and equilibrium’, as well as ‘Nor’ for Norway, the company said.

But this is just an exercise in greenwashing. It remains, at heart, a fossil fuel company.

Since 2017, Statoil – which is two-thirds owned by Norway’s government – has been touting its plans to allocate 15 to 20 percent of its annual investments into renewables by 2030.

But clever rebranding and promises of clean energy investments can’t mask the fact that this means the energy giant will still continue to invest at least 80 percent into its oil and gas business.

Despite its name change, Equinor remains engaged in numerous fossil fuel projects.

As well as producing around 70 percent of oil and gas on the Norwegian continental shelf, the company has significant worldwide presence. The company continues to be the second largest retailer of gas to Europe, and one of the world’s largest sellers of crude oil.

It also remains engaged in the ecologically delicate Great Australian Bight, as well as exploring new fields in Brazil and the North Sea. The company says that its new North Sea developments will enable drilling for oil for 30 more years.

David Powell, head of environment at the New Economics Foundation told DeSmog UK:

‘An oil company rebranding itself ready for a world without oil is a sign of how fast things can change. It’s just a shame that their investment strategy is limping behind their PR.’