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Statoil Boosts Renewables Business Unit

Statoil, Norway’s state oil company and biggest oil producer, is extending its renewable energy portfolio beyond offshore wind and giving its renewables unit higher stature within the company.

“The ambition is to grow and potentially expand into other sources of renewable energy,” Statoil said, three months after CEO Eldar Saetre took over the company and declared climate change one of its priorities. “The business area will seek new opportunities to deliver attractive returns through technology and business innovation, as well as venture activities.”

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Statoil currently has a stake in five North Sea wind farms.

The company’s New Energy Solutions unit “will be led by Executive Vice President Irene Rummelhoff, formerly head of exploration in Norway,” Bloomberg reports. The renewables business “was previously included in a unit that also included marketing and processing,” as well as carbon capture and storage.

Analyst Kjetil Bakken said the move “could presage an increased focus on carbon-free energy, but I don’t see any sudden changes in the investment program,” adding that “this has a reputation dimension: Statoil wishes to highlight its efforts in this area.” (h/t to Clean Energy Canada for pointing us to this story)