The head of exploration for Norway’s Equinor steps down

Under Tim Dodson, the state-owned oil company had a mixed record in the Arctic.

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Equinor’s logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Stavanger, Norway December 5, 2019. (Ints Kalnins / Reuters)

OSLO — Equinor’s head of exploration, Tim Dodson, will step down at the end of May in a planned leadership change, the Norwegian oil and gas company said on Wednesday.

Dodson, a British citizen who has been Equinor’s head of exploration since 2011, will also leave the company’s executive committee but will remain with the company as vice-president for strategy execution, it said in a statement.

“After almost a decade in the corporate executive committee, Tim has wanted to go over to a different position. This change has been planned and agreed,” an Equinor spokesman said in an email to Reuters.

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Equinor has made a number of large discoveries during Dodson’s time as head of exploration. These include the Aldous Major South discovery, which now constitutes a part of Norway’s giant Johan Sverdrup field, as well as the Skrugard discovery that is now part of the Johan Castberg development in the Arctic Barents Sea.

However, Equinor’s recent drilling campaign in the Arctic failed to produce any new major discoveries and Dodson’s focus has been on exploration off Brazil.

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Equinor announced on March 25 that it would cut exploration spending this year by $400 million to $1 billion as part of cost-cutting efforts to help to weather the oil price crash and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company’s spokesman said Dodson’s departure was not related to the cuts or the market situation.

Tore Loeseth, who was previously in charge of international onshore exploration, will become acting head of exploration and join the executive board from June 1, Equinor said.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis.