Equinor ASA (OSE: EQNR, formerly Statoil and StatoilHydro) is a Norwegian multinational energy company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. It is primarily a petroleum company, operating in 36 countries with some investments in renewable energy. By revenue, while under Statoil name, Equinor was ranked by Forbes Magazine (2013) as the world's eleventh largest oil and gas company and the twenty-sixth largest company, regardless of industry, by profit in the world.[4] The company has about 20,200 employees.[2]

Equinor ASA
Statoil (until 15 May 2018 (2018-05-15))
Traded asOSE: EQNR
IndustryOil and gas
Founded14 June 1972 (1972-06-14)
HeadquartersStavanger, Norway
Key people
Jon Erik Reinhardsen (Chair)
Eldar Sætre (CEO),[1]
Hans Jakob Hegge (CFO)
Natural gas
Electrical power
RevenueUS$61.2 billion (2017)[2]
US$13.8 billion (2017)[2]
US$4.6 billion (2017)[2]
Total assetsUS$111.1 billion (2017)[2]
Total equityUS$39.9 billion (2017)[2]
OwnerGovernment of Norway (67%)
Government Pension Fund of Norway (3%)
GEK Terna (1%)
Others (29%)
Number of employees
20,245 (2017)[3]

The current company was formed by the 2007 merger of Statoil with the oil and gas division of Norsk Hydro.[5]

As of 2017, the Government of Norway is the largest shareholder with 67% of the shares, while the rest is public stock. The ownership interest is managed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.[6] The company is headquartered and led from Stavanger, while most of their international operations are currently led from Fornebu.

The name Equinor was adopted in 2018 and is formed by combining “equi,” the root for words such as equal, equality and equilibrium, and “nor,” indicating that the company is of Norwegian origin.[7] The former name Statoil meant in Norwegian: State-Oil, indicating that the oil company is state owned.[8]


The heritage of Statoil derives from three major Norwegian petroleum companies Statoil, Norsk Hydro, and Saga Petroleum (the latter two merged in 1999).

Old Statoil

Den Norske Stats Oljeselskap A/S was founded as a limited company owned by the Government of Norway on 14 July 1972 by a unanimous act passed by the Norwegian parliament Stortinget. The political motivation was Norwegian participation in the oil industry on the continental shelf and to build up Norwegian competency within the petroleum industry to establish the foundations of a domestic petroleum industry. Statoil was required to discuss important issues with the Minister of Industry, later Minister of Petroleum and Energy. Statoil was also required to submit an annual report to the parliament.

In 1973 the company started work acquiring a presence in the petrochemical industry. This resulted in the development of processing plants in Rafnes and, in partnership with Norsk Hydro, the Mongstad plant in 1980. In 1981 the company acquired, as the first Norwegian company, operator rights on the Norwegian continental shelf on the Gullfaks field. 1987-88 saw the largest scandal in the company's history, the Mongstad scandal that made the until then unassailable CEO Arve Johnsen withdraw.

In the 1980s Statoil decided to become a fully integrated petroleum company and started building the Statoil fuel station brand. The stations in Norway originated as Norol stations while the stations in Denmark and Sweden were purchased from Esso in 1985, while the stations in Ireland were purchased from British Petroleum in 1992 and ConocoPhilips Jet in the mid '90s, then sold by Statoil to Topaz Oil in 2006. Statoil also built up a network of stations in part of Eastern Europe in the 1990s.

In 1991 a controversy arose between Statoil and local environmentalists, mainly from Natur og Ungdom and Friends of the Earth Norway, who protested the building of a new research and development centre at Rotvoll, in Trondheim, Norway, a wetlands area close to the city with significant bird life. The controversy climaxed with civil disobedience by the environmentalists, but the centre was still built.

The company was privatised and made a public limited company (allmennaksjeselskap) in 2001, becoming listed on both the Oslo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. At the same time it changed its name to Statoil ASA. The government retained 81,7% of the shares. Through further privatization in 2004 and 2005 the government's share was reduced to 70,9%.[9]

The company operated three brands of fuel stations: Statoil, Hydro, and 1-2-3. Statoil operated petrol station services in Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. Some fully automated stations are branded 1-2-3. In Sweden the company also operated Hydro stations. In total Statoil had about 2,000 fuel stations.

The Statoil/Horton case refers to the company's use of bribes in Iran in 2002–2003 in an attempt to secure lucrative oil contracts in that country. This was mainly achieved by hiring the services of Horton Investments, an Iranian consultancy firm owned by Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, son of former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Horton Investments was paid $15.2 million by Statoil to influence important political figures in Iran to grant oil contracts to Statoil. The corruption scandal was uncovered by the Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv on September 3, 2003. In 2006, the company accepted a $10.5 million fine for violating the U.S Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.[10]

In September 2007, Statoil and the Brazilian oil company Petrobras signed a deal aimed at expanding exploration, sub-sea, and biofuels cooperation. Under the agreement Statoil became a partner on six offshore licenses, as well as expanding biofuels production. Petrobras and Statoil announced plans to create dozens of refineries in Brazil and the rest of the world where vegetable oil will be added to crude to create a no-sulphur fuel. On 4 March 2008, Statoil bought Anadarko Petroleum's 50% share of the Peregrino oil field for US$1.8 billion.[11]

In 2007 Statoil bought a large area in the Athabasca oil sand field in Canada after purchasing North American Oil Sands Corporation for $2.2 billion. (In 2012, Statoil had 4 oil sand licences (oljesandlisensene ) as part of the Kai Kos Deh Seh project: Leismer, Corner, Hangingstone, and Thornberry).[12]

In 2009, Statoil launched the world's first operational deep-water floating large-capacity wind turbine, Hywind.[13] The 120 metres (390 ft) tall tower with a 2.3 MW turbine was towed 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) offshore into the Amoy Fjord in 220 metres (720 ft) deep water, off of Stavanger, Norway on 9 June 2009 for a two-year test run.[14]


In 1965 Hydro joined Elf Aquitaine and six other French companies to form Petronord to perform search for oil and gas in the North Sea. Hydro soon became a large company in the North Sea petroleum industry, and also became operator of a number of fields, the first being Oseberg.

In the late 1980s, Hydro acquired the Mobil service stations in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, changing their name to Hydro. In 1995 Hydro merged its stations in Norway and Denmark with Texaco, creating the joint venture HydroTexaco. The service station chain was sold in 2006 to Reitangruppen. In 1999 Hydro acquired Norway's third largest petroleum company Saga Petroleum, who had major upstream operations primarily in Norway and the United Kingdom. The British operations were later sold.


A merger proposal was announced in December 2006.[15] Under the rules of the EEA the merger was approved by the European Union on 3 May 2007[16] and by the Norwegian Parliament on 8 June 2007.[17] Statoil's shareholders hold 67.3% of the new company, with Norsk Hydro shareholders owning the remaining 32.7%.[16] The Norwegian Government, the biggest shareholder in both Statoil and Norsk Hydro, holds 67% of the company.[18] Jens Stoltenberg, the then Norwegian Prime Minister, commented that he viewed the merger as "the start of a new era...creating a global energy company and strengthening Norway’s oil and gas industry."[19]

It has been noted within the analyst community that a proposal will create an entity with much more competitive strength versus its much larger European rivals, including BP, Total, and Shell, while also increasing the ability of the company to make strategic acquisitions, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.[20] It is the ninth largest oil company in the world, and would be the 48th largest company in the world on the current Fortune Global 500 list with a revenue of NOK 480 billion.[21]

The company's management team was initially to be led by President and CEO Helge Lund (who previously held the same posts at Statoil), with Eivind Reiten, the President and CEO of Hydro, acting as Chairman.[15] However, Reiten decided to resign as chairman three days after the merger because of a possible corruption case in Hydro's former oil division. The Vice-Chair and former Minister of Petroleum and Energy Marit Arnstad served as chairperson until 1 April 2008, when Svein Rennemo took up the post on a permanent basis after resigning as the CEO of the Norwegian oil services company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS).

To reflect a merger of the two companies and with regards of the minor partner, Hydro, it was decided that the joint company should be given a new name. An actual new name was not decided upon at the time of the merger, and StatoilHydro was created for temporary usage only. The firm announced its intention to revert to the name Statoil ASA, and this was approved by the Annual General Meeting in May 2009.[22] The name was changed on 2 November 2009[23]

The Norwegian state's share of the company after the merge was initially 62.5%. As a parliamentary decision in 2001 said it was a goal that the government should own 67% of Statoil, it was announced that the Norwegian government intended to increase its share. In 2009, it was announced that the Norwegian government had reached its goal of obtaining 67% of Statoil's share.[9]

Developments after 2009

In 2010, Statoil separated its downstream business into a separate listed company Statoil Fuel & Retail.[24][25] In 2012 Alimentation Couche-Tard bought Statoil Fuel & Retail for $2.8 billion.[26]

On 24 May 2010, Statoil sold a 40% stake in the Peregrino field to Sinochem, the Chinese state-controlled oil company, for a cash sum of $3.07 billion, but retained 60% and the operatorship.

On 7 April 2010, Statoil announced finding oil and gas reserves in the Fossekall prospect just north of the Norne oil field in the Norwegian Sea. The proved recoverable oil resources were provisionally estimated at between 37 and 63 million barrels (5,900,000 and 10,000,000 m3), while the volume of associated and free gas was estimated at between 1 and 3 billion standard cubic metres.[27]

In early June 2011, Statoil ASA has divested 24.1% shares in Gassled joint venture for NOK 17.35 billion ($3.25 billion) to Solveig Gas Norway AS and still has 5% shares in the partnership.[28] In 2016 Statoil sold the Leismer oil sand operation in Canada to Athabasca Oil.[29]

In 2011–2012, Statoil announced a new discovery in the North Sea of 0.5 to 1.2 billion barrels (79 to 191 million cubic metres), a large new find at its Aldous Major South prospect on the Norwegian continental shelf with recoverable oil between 0.9 to 1.5 billion barrels (140 to 240 million cubic metres), a large new find at the Skrugard prospect in the northern Norwegian Sea (Barents Sea in Statoil terminology) north of the Snøhvit field off Hammerfest, and a find in the Havis Prospect of the Barents Sea of 200 to 3,000 million barrels (32 to 477 million cubic metres) of oil.[30][31][32]

In 2011, Statoil bought Brigham Exploration for $4.4 Billion to gain access to its oil shale operations in North Dakota's Bakken formation.[33] In 2012, Statoil sent 45,000 barrels of oil per day by railroad cars from North Dakota.[34][35]

In November 2011, a Statoil consultant and two others were tried for having received 7 million Norwegian kroner, in exchange for contracts and payments totaling "several tenfold" of millions of Norwegian kroner.[36]

In June 2013 announced a Statoil funded joint venture with Petrofrontier Corp. in Australia. Petrofrontier's Georgina Basin shale oil and gas bearing structures consistent with other producing areas in Australia and North America.[37]

In 2016, Statoil licensed 66% of the Carcará field in the Santos basin from Petrobras for $2.5 billion.[38]

In October 2014, Statoil sold its 15.5% stake in the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to Petronas for a fee of $2.25 billion.[39]

Since 1 October 2014, Statoil also supplies natural gas to Ukraine's Naftogaz.[40][41]

In 2016, Statoil acquired a $3m share of a US wind turbine leasing company.[42] Statoil expects oil demand to peak in the 2020s, and continually decline thereafter due to electric transportation.[43]

Despite finding no oil at its large exploration prospect in the Arctic in 2017, Statoil announced in October 2017 that the company would not give up exploring the Arctic.[44]

In October 2017, Statoil commissioned the 30-MW Hywind Scotland floating wind farm 29 kilometres (18 mi) off Peterhead, Scotland.[45][46][47]

In March 2018, Statoil acquired a 50% stake in the Polish Bałtyk Środkowy III and Bałtyk Środkowy II (Middle Baltic II/III) offshore wind farms.[48]

On 15 March 2018 Statoil announced that it would change its name to Equinor following approval by the annual general meeting.[49]


For the fiscal year 2017, Equinor reported earnings of US$4.590 billion, with an annual revenue of US$61.187 billion, an increase of 33.4% over the previous fiscal cycle. Equinor's shares traded at over $18 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$55.5 billion in October 2018.[50]

Year Revenue
in mil. USD$
Net income
in mil. USD$
Total Assets
in mil. USD$
Price per Share
in USD$
2005 60,690 4,775 44,907 15.52
2006 66,155 6,344 49,276 21.44
2007 89,399 7,643 82,727 23.56
2008 117,291 7,784 104,058 23.14
2009 73,967 2,834 90,054 17.62
2010 87,330 6,242 106,611 19.11
2011 119,766 14,079 137,350 22.62
2012 124,425 11,851 134,917 23.82
2013 108,613 6,799 150,906 22.82 23,413
2014 99,264 3,871 132,702 26.35 22,516
2015 59,642 −5,192 109,742 17.00 21,581
2016 45,873 −2,922 104,530 15.82 20,539
2017 61,187 4,590 111,100 18.37 20,245


Oil and gas exploration and production

Equinor is the largest operator on the Norwegian continental shelf, with 60% of the total production. The fields operated are Brage, Heimdal, Grane, Glitne, Gullfaks, Heidrun, Huldra, Kristin, Kvitebjørn, Mikkel, Njord, Norne, Ormen Lange, Oseberg, Sleipner, Snorre, Snøhvit, Statfjord, Sygna, Tordis, Troll, Veslefrikk, Vigdis, Visund, Volve, and Åsgard. The company also has processing plants at Kolsnes, Kårstø, Mongstad, Tjeldbergodden, and Melkøya.

In addition to the Norwegian continental shelf, Equinor operates oil and gas fields in Australia, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, China, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, United States, and Venezuela. Statoil has offices that are looking for possible ventures in the countries of Mexico, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The company has processing plants in Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany. In 2006, Statoil was given approval to implement the world's largest carbon sequestration project as a means to mitigate carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

Equinor is a partner in Brazil's offshore Peregrino oil field, which came on-stream in 2011. Equinor holds a 15.625% interest in the Deep Blue well on Green Canyon 723 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.[51]

Equinor has a long history of attempting to get involved in the Russian petroleum sector. Many partnerships have been entered, but the company has never had a major success in Russia. It partnered with Gazprom and Total on the Shtokman project in the Barents Sea,[52] but this was shelved due to high costs and low gas prices. It then shifted from partnership with Gazprom to Rosneft, and in the two companies have drilled for oil in several areas of Russia, again without any major finds.[53] After the introduction of sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine,[54] Equinor has kept a much lower public profile on its Russian activities while continuing largely as previously.

The Norwegian economics professor Karl Ove Moene has in the Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv raised the question of Equinor and resource curse. Much economic research show that while natural resources are positive for nations with sound political structures, as Norway, they are negative for nations with unsound political structures, and will despite the riches result in a lower economic growth. Besides his own research Moene also points to similar results from Paul Collier.[55][56][57]

Pipeline operations

Equinor is involved in a number of pipelines, including Zeepipe, Statpipe, Europipe I and Europipe II, and Franpipe from the Norwegian continental shelf to Western Europe in addition to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Caucasus. The pipelines from Norway are organized through Gassled. In the North sea Equinor operates the Oseberg Transport System, Kvitebjørn oil pipeline, Heidrun gas pipeline, Sleipner East pipeline and Vestprosess pipeline.

The company has trading offices for crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids in London, Stamford, Connecticut, and Singapore.


Wind energy

Equinor owns and operates the 30-MW Hywind Scotland floating wind farm 29 kilometres (18 mi) off Peterhead, Scotland.[45][46][47] Equinor owns 50% stake in the Polish 1,200-MW Bałtyk Środkowy III and Bałtyk Środkowy II offshore wind farms.[48] It also owns 50% stake in the 385-MW Arkona wind farm offshore Germany.[58] Equinor operates the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm with 40% stake in the project and has 50% stake in 50% each in Creyke Beck A and B and Teesside A wind farms of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm development in the United Kingdom.[59]


Corrib gas project

Equinor is a partner of Royal Dutch Shell in the Corrib gas project, which entails developing a natural gas field off the northwest coast of Ireland. The project has proved controversial with some Irish residents. In the summer of 2005, five men from County Mayo were jailed for contempt of court after refusing to obey a temporary court injunction forbidding them to interfere with work being undertaken on their land. The ensuing protests led to the Shell to Sea campaign that opposes the project.

Management of art collection

The Statoil Art Programme, which was founded in the mid-1980s, has allegedly had its management breaching the ethical guidelines of International Council of Museums (ICOM), according to one of Aftenposten's resident critics of art/architecture, as of October 2010.[60]

North Sea

In March 2011, Statoil halted work on two North Sea oil field projects because of higher taxes in the U.K. budget.[61] In May 2011 they hired former MI6 chief John Scarlett as a strategic advisor.[62]

Charges of unethical practices in Athabasca

In 2012, a British company (Ecclesiastical Investment) announced that they were selling their stake in Statoil, as a result of perceived unethical practices related to Athabasca oil sands projects.[63]


Rosneft and Statoil made an Arctic exploration deal in May 2012. It was the third deal Rosneft had signed in the previous month, after Arctic exploration agreements with Italy's Eni and US giant Exxon Mobil.[64][53] In June 2014 Statoil announced it had completed a 12 months exploration program of its Castberg license project in the Arctic and less-than-expected reserves had been proved up. Production which had originally been planned to start in 2018 was temporarily shelved while the company and its partners reassessed the viability of the project and explored ways to reduce development costs.[65]

Statoil has been exploring the Barents Sea for oil and gas since 1980.[66] As of June 2014 Statoil participated in construction of 98 exploration wells in the region.[66]

In 2016, Equinor (then Statoil) was ranked as the fifth best of 92 oil, gas, and mining companies on indigenous rights in the Arctic.[67]

Corporate structure

Board of Directors

Comprised as follows as of February 2017:[68]

Environmental record

Statoil and Shell were planning on building a gas-fired powerplant in Norway that would infuse CO2 underground or beneath the seabed, but they discarded the plan due to economic reasons.[69]

Statoil has injected CO2 into the Utsira formation on the Sleipner gas field for environmental storage purposes since 1996. Natural gas containing approximately 8.5% CO2 is produced on the Sleipner Vest field. The gas is transported to the Sleipner Treatment platform, where the CO2 is removed. The gas is exported to the UK, Germany, and Belgium, and the CO2 is injected into the Utsira formation.[70]

Statoil’s strong focus on sustainability has earned them recognition that is traditionally uncommon for the oil and gas industry. In 2014 they ranked as the fourth most sustainable corporation in the world regardless of industry and the most sustainable energy company, according to the Corporate Knights Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable organisations. For 2015 they received a disclosure score of 100 and a performance score of 80 from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).[71] In 2016, they were recognised by CDP as the most sustainable oil and gas producer in the world.[72]

In 2016, Equinor (then Statoil) was ranked as the fifth best of 92 oil, gas, and mining companies on upholding indigenous rights in the Arctic.[67]


Statoil sponsors talents in art, education, and sports through the program Morgendagens helter (Tomorrow's heroes).[73]

Two musical prizes are included in the program.[74] As of 2013, the grant for both awards is of 1 million NOK (about $166,000). The Statoil classical music award has been awarded since 1999. The Statoil stipend to a Norwegian pop/rock artist or group has been awarded since 2008 during the by:Larm festival and is meant to stimulate an international career.[75][76]

The program also includes an art prize, Statoils kunstpris, that has been awarded every second year since 2007 to a talented artist in Norway. The grant is 500,000 NOK (about $83,000) which makes it Norway's largest prize of its kind.[77]

Sponsorship for sports includes support for football and skiing. Sponsorship for education focuses on natural sciences and included a yearly competition for high school students in Norway where Statoils realfagspris is awarded.[78]

Statoil was an official sponsor of the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships that was held in Oslo.[79]


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