Norwegian Statoil results far better than expected

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has announced results of $3.31 billion dollars for the first quarter of 2017, quadruple the profit for the same period last year.

Norwegian Statoil results far better than expected
Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre announced the oil company's first quarter results. Photo: Vidar Ruud/NTB scanpix

The first quarter of 2016 resulted in a profit of $857 million – an improvement on expert projections, reports broadcaster NRK.

Statoil reports that the results for the first quarter characterised by solid income and strong cash flows from all segments of its operations.

The company has also reduced its debt ratio from 35.6 to 30 percent, according to NRK’s report.

“Our solid financial results and strong cash flows from all segments were driven by higher prices, good operation and an underlying production increase of fiver percent. The production from Norwegian seams was the highest in five years, driven by high regularity and increases in production in new fields,” Statoil’s CEO Eldar Sætre said in a statement to the Norwegian stock exchange.

Positive results were delivered by the oil company’s international portfolio, the CEO added, saying that cash flow per barrel after tax had reached the same level as Statoil’s Norwegian portfolio.

“We are continuing to reduce costs through efficiency, and are on course to achieve an extra billion dollars in costs savings in 2017,” he said.

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Statoil is reported to have found oil in seven out of nine explorative bores carried out in the first quarter of 2017.

“The majority can quickly be put into profitable production,” Sætre said.

The company’s results are a positive surprise showing stronger figures than expected in most areas, and reflect both better production and more favourable prices for Statoil, oil analyst Kjetil Bakken of Carnegie said, according to NRK’s report.

“They have also managed to keep costs down while they partly through more effective operation, and because prices have fallen for the things they have bought,” he said.

Bakken added that Statoil was now showing increased ability to invest after a turnaround in the company’s fortunes


‘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