Statoil in $1.45bn Shah Deniz sale

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday that it would sell a 10 percent stake in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field for $1.45 billion (1.05 billion euros), taking its holding to 15.5 percent.

Statoil in $1.45bn Shah Deniz sale
The Shah Denzil offshore platform - Shahin Abasaliyev
It also said it would not exercise an option to take a stake in the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey, which is part of plans to bring gas from the region to Europe.
Buyers of the Shah Deniz stake were state-backed Azerbaijan oil group Socar (6.7 percent) and Britain's BP (3.3 percent.)
"We have considered our potential positions throughout the project's value chain, balancing economics and risks to identify the optimal participation," Statoil chief executive Helge Lund said in a statement.
John Olaisen, an analyst at Norwegian investment bank ABG Sundal Collier, told business daily Dagens Naeringsliv that Statoil sold the assets for "a very good price," corresponding to three times their book value.
The announcements came as the Shah Deniz consortium, led by BP, unveiled $28 billion worth of infrastructure investments to bring Azeri gas to Europe.
In addition to TANAP, the Shah Deniz II project will include further investments in the gas field, expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia, and building a pipeline across Greece and Albania into Italy.
The move is seen as a key step toward European ambitions of reducing its energy dependence on Russia.

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‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name

Norway's largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.

'Call me Equinor': Statoil changes name
CEO Eldar Sætre presents the name change in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders' general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back — at least in name — from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil. 

Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.

Founded in 1972 to operate Norway's large oil fields, the company — which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges — is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.

The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.

But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”.

“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.

READ ALSO: Norway pledges to spend less oil money in new budget