Anders Operdal, the CEO of energy behemoth Equinor, underscores the importance of securing oil and gas supplies locally amidst global turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Operdal emphasises that energy security should be paramount in light of supply disruptions and price hikes.
Equinor, a major investor in the Rosebank oil field in the North Sea, champions local sourcing to enhance energy security. However, critics argue that new oil fields won’t bolster the UK’s energy resilience, advocating instead for a swifter transition away from fossil fuels to stabilise energy prices.
Operdal defends Equinor’s investment in Rosebank despite concerns raised by the International Energy Agency about new oil and gas developments conflicting with climate targets. He stresses the necessity for countries to produce energy domestically to meet their needs sustainably and affordably.
Equinor adopts a balanced approach, allocating more capital to renewables, such as the Dogger Bank wind farm, alongside investments in oil and gas. Operdal affirms the company’s readiness for declining oil and gas demand while fulfilling current energy needs.
However, opposition to new oil and gas investments persists, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres denouncing such endeavours as “economic and moral madness.” Advocates for renewables, like Piers Forster, argue that transitioning away from fossil fuels will stabilise prices and curb dependence on volatile international markets.
Despite Equinor’s limited exposure to Red Sea shipping attacks, Operdal acknowledges geopolitical events’ impact on maintaining higher energy prices. Yet, with Russian oil redirected to Asia and Europe, bolstering LNG terminals, he anticipates greater price stability compared to the turbulence of 2022.
In conclusion, Operdal’s stance underscores the need for a diversified energy portfolio, balancing fossil fuels with renewables, to mitigate geopolitical risks and stabilise prices amid global uncertainty.