Equinor Aims for Net-Zero Emissions by 2050, New CEO Says

Equinor's New CEO  Anders Opeda - Image by Ole Jørgen Bratland
Equinor's New CEO Anders Opeda - Image by Ole Jørgen Bratland

Norway's Equinor aims to become a net-zero emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050, including emissions from the production and final consumption of oil and gas, the energy producer's new chief executive said as he took office on Monday.

Anders Opedal, the first engineer to lead state-controlled Equinor, plans to expand the company's acquisition of acreage for wind power. He said achieving net-zero emissions would require carbon capture and storage (CCS), so-called natural sinks and the use of technologies to produce hydrogen.

"We are ready to further strengthen our climate ambitions, aiming to reach net-zero by 2050," Opedal, who replaces Eldar Saetre, said in a statement.

The new CEO also repeated the company's long-held ambition of increasing oil and gas output by 3% per year in 2019-2026.

Oil firms have set varying goals for cutting so-called Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Scope 1 emissions come from oil and gas production, Scope 2 covers emission from energy purchased and Scope 3 covers the supply chain and final consumption.

For Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gases, Equinor's net-zero ambition covers all emissions from its operations, while for Scope 3 greenhouse gases the net-zero ambition is limited to the company's actual stake in any field or operation.

"Equinor is preparing for an expected gradual decline in global demand for oil and gas from around 2030 onwards ... In the longer term, Equinor expects to produce less oil and gas than today," the company said.

"Equinor also assumes that an increasing share of oil and gas will be used for petrochemicals towards 2050," it added.

Opedal plans to present an updated strategy for the company in June of 2021, Equinor said.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Kim Coghill and Edmund Blair)

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