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‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name

Norway’s largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.

Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders’ general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back--at least in name--from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil.

Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.

Founded in 1972 to operate Norway’s large oil fields, the company--which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges--is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.

The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.

But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”.

“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.

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