Statoil aims to lead the pack in Big Oil’s race for ‘carbon-efficient barrels’

Eldar Saetre, Equinor's chief executive
Eldar Saetre, Equinor's chief executive

Statoil chief executive Eldar Saetre has said the oil major’s Norwegian operation will look to develop ‘carbon-efficient’ crude.

With a focus in Norway and Brazil, where the crude is considered to be lighter and more available, Mr Saetre confirmed that Statoil was actively moving in this direction.

“A lot of fossil fuels will have to stay in the ground, coal obviously … but you will also see oil and gas being left in the ground – that is natural,” Mr Saetre told Reuters.

“At Statoil we are not pursuing certain types of resources; we are not exploring for heavy oil or investing in oil sands. It is really about accessing the most carbon-efficient barrels.”

Statoil’s decision to pull out of heavy oil producing countries will concern countries like Canada and Venezuela where the oil is highly viscous and energy-intensive to extract.

Mr Saetre added: “The world needs to develop more efficient barrels… Competitiveness to me is carbon competitiveness and cost competitiveness.”

Asked by Energy Voice about the future of oil exploration in the North Sea and UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), a Statoil spokesperson said: “We believe there is potential for good discoveries in the North Sea, that can be produced efficiently and with low emissions. Statoil’s strategy, with a significant focus on the North Sea (both Norway and UK), remains firm.”