Equinor plans to halve carbon intensity by 2050

Norwegian oil major Equinor has launched a new climate roadmap for the upcoming period of energy transition, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Illustration; Image: Equinor

Equinor said on Thursday that it would reduce the net carbon intensity, from initial production to final consumption, of energy produced by at least 50 percent by 2050.

Also, it would grow renewable energy capacity tenfold by 2026, developing as a global offshore wind major, and strengthen its industry-leading position on carbon-efficient production, aiming to reach carbon neutral global operations by 2030.

Eldar Sætre, president and CEO of Equinor, said: “Today we are setting new short-, mid- and long-term ambitions to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions and to shape our portfolio in line with the Paris Agreement. It is a good business strategy to ensure competitiveness and drive change towards a low carbon future, based on a strong commitment to value creation for our shareholders.

“We are now looking 30 years into the future, and it is not possible to predict the exact shape and pace of the transition. But we know there will have to be significant changes in the energy markets, and our portfolio will change accordingly to remain competitive.

“We will produce less oil in a low carbon future, but value creation from oil and gas will still be high, and renewables give significant new opportunities to create attractive returns and growth.”


Image: Equinor

The ambition to reduce net carbon intensity by at least 50 percent by 2050 takes into account scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, from initial production to final consumption. The ambition is expected to be met primarily through significant growth in renewables and changes in the scale and composition of the oil and gas portfolio.

According to the oil firm, operational efficiency, CCUS and hydrogen will also be important and recognized offset mechanisms, and natural sinks may be used as a supplement.

Equinor also believes that carbon-efficient production of oil and gas would increasingly be a competitive advantage.

In January 2020, Equinor announced an unprecedented set of ambitions to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its operated offshore fields and onshore plants in Norway by 40 percent by 2030, 70 percent by 2040 and towards near zero by 2050. The realization of those ambitions will be done through electrification projects, energy efficiency measures, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen.

It is worth mentioning that Equinor recently signed an agreement with Eidesvik Offshore for the modification of Eidesvik’s supply vessel to be fuelled by carbon-free ammonia. The project will test whether the technology could deliver 100 percent carbon-free power over long distances and will be tested on the vessel from 2024.


Viking Energy; Image: Eidesvik

The vessel in question, Viking Energy, has already been a part of several greenhouse gas decreasing initiatives. Namely, it was the first LNG-fuelled vessel in Equinor’s fleet in 2003, and the first vessel with hybrid battery power in 2016.

Equinor also has low methane emissions, at around 10 percent of the global industry average, with the roadmap including ambitions to keep methane emissions at near-zero and eliminate routine flaring before 2030.

In 2026, Equinor expects a production capacity increase from renewable projects of 4 to 6 GW, around ten times higher than today’s capacity. Towards 2035, Equinor expects to increase installed renewables capacity further to 12 to 16 GW, dependent on the availability of attractive project opportunities.


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