Q2 profits for Norway's Statoil edges down

AP News
Posted: Jul 26, 2012 8:27 AM
Q2 profits for Norway's Statoil edges down

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil ASA on Thursday posted a marginal 2 percent fall in second-quarter profits, dipping largely on the back of increased exploration and production costs.

The company was also hit by costs linked to the company abandoning an unprofitable well in the Glitne oil field in the North Sea. Profits were also hurt by lower prices for liquids, such as natural gas liquids.

Net profit of 26.43 billion kroner ($4.33 billion), down from the 26.92 billion kroner recorded in the same three months a year ago.

Revenues for the state-controlled company rocketed, reaching 186.48 billion kroner from 159.54 billion kroner in the same quarter in 2011. The higher production volumes led to larger investments having to be made, in turn leading to a chunk being taken out of the bottom-line profits.

Still, CEO Helge Lund, said he was pleased with the results, particularly pointing to the increased volumes. "We increased oil and gas production by 17 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year," he said.

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Post 2012, Statoil said it is maintaining its guidance of reaching an equity production of more than 2.5 million barrels per day of oil equivalent in 2020.

Shares in the company rose around 2 percent to 143.80 kroner ($23.59) on the Oslo stock exchange.