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Equinor to Offload Stake in US Offshore Wind Projects to BP

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Equinor ASA (EQNR - Free Report) recently agreed to divest 50% non-operated stake in Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets located on the east coast of the United States to BP plc (BP - Free Report) . The total consideration of the deal before adjustments is $1.1 billion.

The deal is in line with Equinor’s renewable strategy. The move will enable the company to de-risk high equity ownership position and capture value. Collaborating with a partner will likely boost financial flexibility to fund further growth opportunities. The deal has an effective date of Jan 1, 2020 and is expected to close early next year. Equinor will remain the operator at the renewable projects.

Asset Details

Empire Wind — located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island — covers 80,000 acres at water depths of 65-131 feet. Equinor acquired the lease of the project in 2017. It is developing the offshore wind farm, with an expected total installed capacity of more than 2 gigawatts (GW), in two phases. The Beacon Wind is located 60 miles east of Montauk Point and spans 128,000 acres. The company acquired the lease last year and the project has an estimated total capacity of more than 2.4 GW.

Each turbine used in these two projects is expected to have a generation capacity of more than 10 Megawatts. The total power generated by these two projects will likely be sufficient to power more than 2 million homes.

Goals

Notably, the offshore wind market is expected to grow to 600-800 GW by 2050 all over the world. As such, Equinor’s cooperation with BP will likely enable them to capture more market share. The Norwegian energy company has plans to grow its renewables capacity to 4-6 GW by 2026 and 12-16 GW by 2035. The company is securing growth opportunities in core regions like the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the United States.

BP has similar targets, with a goal of boosting its renewable power generation capacity to 50GW in the coming decade. In the United States, the company already has a large onshore wind business, with a power generation capacity of 1.7 GW. The strategic partnership with Equinor will likely help it achieve renewable goals within time limit.

Price Performance

The stock has jumped 39.2% in the past six months compared with 8.6% rise of the industry it belongs to.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Currently, Equinor has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked players in the energy space include Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A - Free Report) and Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC - Free Report) , each holding a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shell’s bottom line for 2021 is expected to skyrocket 112.5% year over year.

Cimarex Energy’s sales for 2021 are expected to rise 12.4% year over year.

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