After announcing its intention earlier in the year, Norwegian multinational oil and gas company Statoil has today officially changed its name to Equinor after the company’s annual general meeting approved the name change on Tuesday.
Energy companies and utilities around the world are looking to not only transition away from reliance on fossil fuels, but are also looking to ensure that the world knows they are doing so. In October of 2017, Danish energy giant DONG Energy announced that it would change its name to Ørsted, and in late March Swedish power company Vattenfall made the cosmetic decision to change its logo.
Amidst these innocuous announcements, Norwegian multinational oil and gas company Statoil announced its intention to change its name to Equinor — which “is formed by combining ‘equi,’ the starting point for words like equal, equality and equilibrium, and ‘nor,’ signalling a company proud of its Norwegian origin, and who wants to use this actively in its positioning.”
“The world is changing, and so is Statoil,” explained chair of the board in Statoil, Jon Erik Reinhardsen back in March. “The biggest transition our modern-day energy systems have ever seen is underway, and we aim to be at the forefront of this development. Our strategy remains firm. The name Equinor reflects ongoing changes and supports the always safe, high value and low carbon strategy we outlined last year.”
Fast forward to this week, and Statoil held its annual general meeting at which shareholders approved the company’s annual report, as well as the name change.
Statoil held its name for 46 years and serves as the largest operator in Norway, where it is also 67% owned by the Norwegian Government. The move also helps the company to reshift its priorities away from fossil fuels — as befits a company with “oil” in its name — and towards a renewable energy future.
“A name with ‘oil’ as a component would increasingly be a disadvantage,” said Eldar Saetre, Statoil’s chief executive, told Reuters. “None of our competitors has that. It served us really well for 50 years, I don’t think it will be the best name for the next 50 years.”
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