Statoil profit plunge in second quarter

Norwegian oil company Statoil said lower prices for liquids and gas had made themselves felt in second-quarter profits, down more than 50 percent since 2012, but said the company was "on track" for the year.

Statoil profit plunge in second quarter
Statoil CEO Helge Lund. File photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix

Statoil delivered an operationally solid quarter. We produced as planned, delivering record production from our portfolio outside Norway. We are on track and maintain our guidance for 2013," says 

Norway's biggest listed company took home 27.4 billion kroner ($4.6 billion) before tax in the second quarter of 2013, a 53.9-percent tumble compared to the same period last year. 

"Our financial results were impacted by lower prices for liquids and gas and weak trading results," Statoil CEO Helge Lund said in a statement on Thursday morning. "However, we have maintained good cost control and delivered strong earnings, particularly from our international portfolio."

Lund set his hopes to developments of new oil and gas fields both at home – "with major field developments ongoing such as Gudrun, Åsgard subsea compression and Valemon" – and abroad. 

"The activity level on new field developments is high. We are executing our projects according to plan," said Lund.

The company has explored assets in Russia, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and Australia.

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‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name

Norway's largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.

'Call me Equinor': Statoil changes name
CEO Eldar Sætre presents the name change in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders' general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back — at least in name — from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil. 

Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.

Founded in 1972 to operate Norway's large oil fields, the company — which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges — is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.

The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.

But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”.

“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.

READ ALSO: Norway pledges to spend less oil money in new budget