Statoil CEO pledges to diversify away from oil and gas amid 'energy transition'

  • "It is a fact that there is a decline in oil and gas (but) there is still a growing demand… we have to deliver that and the question is how to do that?" Statoil CEO Eldar Saetre told CNBC on Wednesday.
  • The Norwegian oil firm said Wednesday it expected to invest around 15 to 20 percent of its total capital expenditure in so-called new energy solutions by 2030.

Norway's Statoil is looking to increase its efforts to diversify away from oil and gas over the next decade.

"It is a fact that there is a decline in oil and gas (but) there is still a growing demand… we have to deliver that and the question is how to do that?" Statoil CEO Eldar Saetre told CNBC on Wednesday.

"There is an energy transition going on and we will take part in that by not only producing oil and gas, but increasing our renewable energies," he added.

Statoil announced stronger-than-anticipated fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, making it the latest oil company to benefit from a rapidly improving environment for big energy firms.

Like other oil majors, Statoil has slashed jobs and investment projects in recent years but is beginning to see the benefit of a recent oil price rally.

New energy solutions

The Norwegian oil firm said Wednesday it expected to invest around 15 to 20 percent of its total capital expenditure in so-called new energy solutions by 2030.

Jan Arne Wold | Statoil

When asked whether mounting pressure to diversify away from oil and gas could see Statoil raise its target to around 40 percent of capital expenditure over the next decade, Saetre the current forecast was "realistic."

The oil and gas producer announced Tuesday it is poised to increase its capital expenditure to $11 billion this year, up from $9.4 billion spent in 2017.