Arun Sudhaman 12 Sep 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
STAVANGER, NORWAY--Norwegian oil giant Statoil is considering a major review of its global marketing communications support.
The largest company in the Nordics has released a "prequalification" notice to numerous agencies, according to sources involved in the process, focusing on a broad range of brand and media communication services.
These include international PR support, including reputation management and crisis communication; advertising services; media planning and buying; digital development; and, design solutions.
At present, it is understood that Statoil's advertising remit is handled in some markets by McCann Erickson and Universal McCann. The company has also worked with Hill + Knowlton Strategies in recent times. Earlier this year, H+K's Canadian operation hired senior Statoil executive Vlad Grigore to head a new emergency response service.
Statoil did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.
Formed in 2007 by a merger of Statoil and the oil and gas division of Norsk Hydro, Statoil's majority shareholder is the Norwegian government, although the company is also listed on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges.
With a market capitalisation of $80bn, Statoil is now the 13th-largest oil and gas company in the world. Like many energy players, it has faced its share of environmental scrutiny, which is likely to increase as it steps up Artic drilling plans.
The company is described by the Wall Street Journal as a "dominant" presence in energy exploration and production in Arctic waters. It has drilled more than 90 percent of the wells in the Barents sea, and will drill another 13 in 2013.
It also operates the only offshore gas-production facility within the Arctic Circle, and has signed Arctic exploration deals with Russia's Rosneft, Italy's Eni and US giant Exxon Mobil.
The energy industry's Arctic exploration ambitions are vigorously opposed by Greenpeace, which has launched a campaign to protect the region from oil drilling.
Statoil chief exective Helge Lund has said that the company has to find more oil fields to maintain offshore production beyond 2020.