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Norway’s Energy Champion Comes to Regret Foray Into Shale Oil

  • Equinor sells Bakken fields for fraction of original price
  • Company has written down $11.5 billion on U.S. shale assets
A pumpjack operates above an oil well in the Bakken Formation on the outskirts of Williston, North Dakota.

A pumpjack operates above an oil well in the Bakken Formation on the outskirts of Williston, North Dakota.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor ASA said it never should have made the investments into U.S. shale fields that resulted in billions of dollars in losses and a brewing political controversy at home.

After the company announced the sale of assets in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation for $900 million -- just a fraction of the price it originally paid almost a decade ago -- Equinor Chief Executive Officer Anders Opedal said things would have been done very differently in hindsight.