Anders Opedal has been appointed as Equinor’s new president and chief executive, starting in November 2020.
Equinor board chairman Jon Erik Reinhardsen said, “Equinor is entering a phase of significant change. The world needs to take more forceful action to combat climate change. The board’s mandate is for Anders to accelerate our development as a broad energy company and to increase value creation for our shareholders through the energy transition.”
Mr Opedal was executive vice president technology, projects and drilling. He joined Equinor as a petroleum engineer in 1997, spent many years in drilling and well services and served as chief procurement officer.
Mr Reinhardsen said Mr Opedal “has deep knowledge of and broad experience from the energy sector,” and has risen through the ranks of the company and demonstrated outstanding leadership and consistently delivered results exceeding expectations.
“As the first engineer to become chief executive he is passionate about technology, digitalisation and industrial development,” Mr Reinhardsen said.
“The board is confident that Anders is the right person to further develop Equinor as a force in the green shift.”
Mr Opedal said, “I am confident in Equinor and all our people and in our ability to change and continue creating long-term value for our shareholders in a low carbon future.
“We have a great starting point for what will be a massive transition with strong assets, outstanding competence, technology and innovation skills, and we have highly engaged people and strong values. Together, we will accelerate the development of Equinor as a broad energy company and accelerate our growth in renewables.”
Recent years have seen Equinor, still primarily an oil and gas company, expand into offshore wind and in particular floating offshore wind. It is a partner with SSE Renewables in Dogger Bank Wind in the UK and is investing significantly in offshore wind projects in the US and elsewhere.
Equinor was a pioneer in floating wind and is undertaking the development and operation of Hywind Tampen, which will contribute to emissions reductions from offshore oil and gas projects in the Norwegian North Sea.
Current chief executive, Eldar Sætre, is to retire after six years as chief executive and after more than 40 years at the company.