Statoil Chief Says Oil Producer Is Committed to Renewable Energy Projects

Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, is committed to developing its renewable- energy investments, Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said.

“We plan to develop and deliver on the positions we have taken,” Lund said today at a press conference in Stavanger. “There’s no reason in my view to question our commitment to our strategy. It remains firm and has broad support in the management team and the board of directors.”

Broadcaster NRK quoted Lund on Aug. 21 as saying the company may pull out of renewable energy.

Statoil plans to spend 350 million kroner ($56 million) on work at the North Sea Dogger Bank offshore wind-energy project in northeast England, the largest block in the U.K.’s $120 billion offshore wind-energy program.

The Stavanger-based company is also building a 315-megawatt wind farm at Sheringham Shoal in the U.K. with Statkraft SF and plans to build a demonstration site testing its “floating” offshore wind turbines.

“For now our focus is first and foremost on implementing Sheringham Shoal and to see if we, together with our partners, can succeed in creating a profitable project at Doggerbank,” Lund said in an interview, adding that he “would never exclude” that the company may bid for more licenses in the next four years.

“This business has to be subjected to the same profitability criteria as the rest of our operations,” the chief executive said. “Over time, the investments in renewable have to be able to compete with investments we have in other areas.”

Lund said should Statoil succeed in finding profitable solutions to developing Sheringham and Dogger Bank, renewable energy “would probably” acquire a bigger stake in the company’s portfolio.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marianne Stigset in Oslo at mstigset@bloomberg.net

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