Equinor chief executive Anders Opedal claimed Russia's invasion of Ukraine had sparked a new focus on oil and gas as pillars of European energy security, strengthening the case for what he described as a “balanced” transition in the North Sea that keeps fossil sources in the mix for longer.

Newer forms of energy can play a huge part in the future of Europe’s energy mix, but its baseload oil and gas production can ensure there is energy security in the meantime, Opedal told industry event CERAWeek by S&P Global in Houston on Tuesday.