Norway’s Statoil is aiming to play on its oil and gas strengths and expertise to grow its renewable energy business, said executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff.
Statoil has already made renewables part of its core activity, after realising that “business as usual was not an option”, said Rummelhoff at Offshore Wind Energy in London this week.
She added that, as the company had a lot of experience in offshore installations, operations, modifications, derived from having worked in the oil and gas industry, the change in direction was an “opportunity”.
“All skills were relevant for the offshore wind industry,” said Rummelhoff. “This was an opportunity rather than a threat for an oil and gas company, because we have an industry with immense growth potential in front of us, where we can play on the competences we have already developed. It’s not often these opportunities comes along.”
“Combining offshore wind and gas is a great opportunity that oil and gas companies can work with, in combination with other technologies, like batteries, and potentially also solar,” she said. “This will be a holistic solution going forward that will play to the strengths of like Statoil and Shell and other companies coming from the oil and gas sector.”
As it moved into the clean energy sector, Statoil acquired a 35% in the Dudgeon wind farm off eastern England, and won an auction for commercial development rights off New York.
The company said it now sees renewables as a “fully integrated part of its strategy”, with “new energy” set to account for around 20% of its capital investments by 2030.
In addition, Statoil’s budget for research projects is on an annual base around £250m. By 2020, 25% of it will be invested in low carbon solutions, says Rummelhoff.