Statoil changes name to Equinor

Norway-based energy giant Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) is changing its name to one that doesn’t include the word “oil.”

The company, which has its U.S. upstream headquarters in Houston, plans to rebrand as Equinor as part of a shift to become a broader energy company, according to a March 15 press release.

Shareholders will vote on the change at the annual general meeting on May 15, and the Norwegian government, as majority shareholder, is on board.

All five unions representing Statoil employees also support the proposal.

The rebranding is expected to cost at least about $30 million, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The new name combines “equi” — evoking words like “equal,” “equality” and “equilibrium” — with “nor,” a nod to the company’s Norwegian origin, per the release.

“Statoil has for almost 50 years served us well,” Statoil President and CEO Eldar Sætre said in the release. “Looking towards the next 50 years, reflecting on the global energy transition and how we are developing as a broad energy company, it has become natural to change our name. The name Equinor captures our heritage and values and what we aim to be in the future.”

Last March, Statoil unveiled its climate-related goals for the next several years. One of the company’s goals is for new energy solutions to represent 15 percent to 20 percent of capital expenditures by 2030.

That’s up from 5 percent at the time of the announcement, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Since then, the first floating wind farm in the world, Hywind Scotland, which Statoil operates in partnership with Masdar, began production, and another offshore wind farm in the U.K. also opened. Statoil also entered its first solar development project last year, acquiring a 40 percent share in a solar asset in Brazil as well as a 50 percent share in the project execution company, allowing Statoil to participate in future solar projects.

Statoil also announced last year that it reached its latest goal of reducing CO2 emissions from the Norwegian continental shelf ahead of schedule.

The next month, Statoil entered into a CO2 storage partnership with Shell and Total.

However, oil and gas production will remain a big part of the company.

“Equinor is a powerful expression of who we are, where we come from and what we aspire to be,” Sætre continued in the March 15 release. “We are a values-based company, and equality describes how we want to approach people and the societies where we operate. The Norwegian continental shelf will remain the backbone of our company, and we will use our Norwegian heritage in our positioning as we continue growing internationally within both oil, gas and renewable energy.”

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