Best-ever result for Mongstad
The Mongstad refinery operated by Statoil near Bergen has achieved its profit target for the whole of 2000 before the year is half over.
This ranks as the best result in its history, even though feedstock prices and costs for operation and maintenance are both high.
The adoption of new environmental standards for a number of refined products by the European Union and the USA at the New Year has played its part.
"We were prepared, and could offer the market products which satisfy the new requirements," explains vice president Nils Bjørn Jordal, head of the refinery.
"But a number of our competitors have faced problems meeting these specifications, which reduces their supply."
In addition, some refineries have been shut down by accidents, including a fire in Kuwait and an explosion in Germany. A number of European plants also carried out turnarounds earlier this year.
Operation has been stable at Mongstad, which also benefited from a rundown in stocks by customers waiting for prices to fall.
But Mr Jordal emphasises that the good performance will not affect staffing plans or improvement programmes.
Statoil Mongstad downsized from 675 to 600 work-years in 1999, and a further reduction of roughly 25 is planned this year.