Norwegian energy giant Equinor is selling its Bakken shale oil assets to Grayson Mill Energy for about $900 million following more than a decade of heavy losses. The company recorded accounting losses of $21.5 billion on its U.S. activities between 2007 to 2019, about $9 billion of which were from onshore shale and affiliated assets. The losses are due in part to the high per-barrel cost of extracting oil in the Bakken oil field, which includes parts of North Dakota, Montana, and Canada, and a boom-and-bust cycle cratered by the pandemic. “We should not have made these investments,” Equinor CEO Anders Opedal told Bloomberg. “The Bakken does not compete,” he added.
The company, a majority of which is owned by the Norwegian government, is under growing criticism there for its losses in North American oil and gas investments. The company has begun investing more heavily in renewables in recent years, including winning one of the largest contracts ever in the U.S. with BP for a wind farm off of New York’s coast. (Reuters, Bloomberg $, OilPrice, WorldOil, Williston Herald, Upstream)