Statoil income soars a third on court win

Statoil income soars a third on court win
Helge Lund presenting Statoil's first quarter results on Tuesday. Photo: Lise Åserud/NTB scanpix
Norwegian oil giant Statoil has seen its operating income soar 35 percent on the back of strong results from its US gas business and a large payout after winning a commercial dispute.
The company's posted net operating profits of 51.4 billion Norwegian kroner in the first three months of the year, an increase of 35 percent on the same period last year. 

“Higher prices and good results from our U.S. gas value chain contributed to a 9 percent increase in adjusted earnings,” Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said in a statement. 
“Our operational performance is solid, providing the foundation for around 2 percent rebased organic production growth in 2014.”
The company said that it had received a 2.8 billion pay-out after winning a commercial dispute, the nature of which it refused to disclose. It also gained 100m kroner on the sale of its stake in the South Caucasus Pipeline. 
Stripping out these and other smaller items, the company's operating earnings were up nine percent on the previous year at 46 billion kroner. 
Lund said that Statoil had been successful in its cost-cutting drive over the last year. 
“We have initiated new, comprehensive measures in the quarter to further strengthen our efficiency and cost competitiveness, while we reached important milestones in the ongoing process of reducing our cost base," Lund said. "We are on track, executing on our plan to deliver high value growth." 
The increased profits were partly due to a significant drop (4.7 billion kroner) in oil exploration spending.


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