A satisfactory result in a weaker market 

October 29, 2001, 08:30 CET

Statoil (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO) achieved a net income of NOK 4.1 billion (USD 453 million) or NOK 1.88 (USD 0.21) per share for the third quarter of 2001, on a par with the same period of last year.

Financial statements and review
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Net income for the first nine months totalled NOK 14.6 billion (USD 1.6 billion) or NOK 7.15 (USD 0.79) per share, an increase of 28 per cent from the same period of 2000. Adjusted for special items, earnings per share for the first nine months came to NOK 5.90 (USD 0.65). This was on a par with last year.

A reduction of 16 per cent in oil prices and weaker downstream earnings were offset by a 57 per cent increase in gas sales, higher gas prices and financial gains.

“Our third quarter results are satisfactory,” comments Statoil president and chief executive Olav Fjell. “Despite reduced prices and margins for our main products, the underlying results are sound.

“Planned cost reductions and restructuring are on schedule. Our production performance is good, allowing us to increase our forecast for the year to 985.000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). Results so far this year confirm that we are on schedule to reach the goals for results and growth communicated during our initial public offering in June.”

Oil and gas production averaged 999.000 boed during the third quarter, an increase of 11 per cent from the same period of last year. Production for the first nine months averaged 981.000 boed, up two per cent from 2000.

All field developments included in Statoil’s production target of 1 120 million boed for 2004 have now been sanctioned.

Results for the Statoil group (in NOK million)

3rd q 2001 3rd q 2000 9 months 2001 9 months 2000
Operating revenue 62 747 56 583 174 140 163 454
E&P Norway 11 292 12 683 33 825 32 626
International E&P 125 250 2 493 978
Natural Gas 1 721 1 248 7 176 4 811
Manufacturing & Marketing 696 1 376 3 236 3 151
Other 105 197 (49) 75
Income before finance and tax 13 939 15 754 46 681 41 641
Net financial items 1 696 (1 749) 747 (3 283)
Income taxes (11 401) (9 696) (32 408) (26 692)
Minority interests (157) (136) (380) (232)
Net income 4 077 4 173 14 640 11 434
Earnings per share 1.88 2.11 7.15 5.79
Earnings per share adjusted (NOK) 1.88 2.11 5.90 5.79
Weighted number of ordinary shares (million shares) 2 165 1 976 2 046 1 976
Return on capital employed 20.8% 16.8%

Third quarter milestones:

  • Plan for Development and Operation for Snøhvit and Kristin submitted. Snøhvit will be the first offshore development in the Barents Sea, and the first project in Europe to be based on exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

  • Important decisions to develop fields in Angola (Kizomba A) and Azerbaijan (Phase 1 of Azeri-Chiraq-Gunashli). By these decisions, all fields contribution to the 2004 production target of 1.120 mill.boed, has been sanctioned for development.

  • The Norwegian Gas Negotiating Committee (GFU) has signed an agreement with the Polish state oil and gas company (POGC) to supply Norwegian gas. The agreement means that Poland will receive 74 billion Sm3 of natural gas over a period of 16 years, starting in 2008. Statoil and SDFI’s combined share of the contract is 66.8 per cent. Several conditions are yet to be settled before this agreement can enter into force.

  • Gas deliveries started Oct 1, 2001 to Italy and UK. Statoil and SDFI will deliver roughly 100 billion Sm3 of gas to Italy until 2025. In the UK, Statoil and SDFI, under an agreement with BP, will deliver 1.6 billion Sm3 of gas every year until 2016.

  • As part of the effort to restructure the ownership of Navion, Statoil has acquired the Rasmussen-group’s 20 per cent equity in the company.

Business areas

Exploration and production

Exploration & Production Norway earned a third-quarter profit before financial items of NOK 11.3 billion, a decline of 11 per cent from the same period of last year.

This reduction was mainly attributable to a 16 per cent fall (in Norwegian currency) in oil prices, higher exploration costs and increased depreciation owing to the rise in production. Higher gas sales and prices only partially offset the fall.

Fifteen exploration and appraisal wells have been drilled so far this year, resulting in 10 finds. Statoil was operator for 10 of the wells.

Volumes sold during third quarter of 2001 came to 926.000 boed, a 12 per cent increase from the same period of last year.

The Åsgard field was shut down in August for repairs to be carried out on pipeline welds. It is expected to come back on stream round year end.

International Exploration & Production earned a third-quarter profit before financial items of NOK 125 million. This represents a decline of NOK 125 million compared to the same period of 2000, which can primarily be attributed to a fall in oil prices and a nine per cent fall in third quarter production.

Average daily oil and gas sales for the third quarter fell from 68.000 boed in 2000 to 62.000 boed in 2001 because three wells were shut down on Britain’s Jupiter gas field.

The first phase of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil development off Azerbaijan was approved by the licensees on 30 August. Statoil’s share of this field is 8.56 per cent. With a production capacity of 400.000 barrels per day, the new installations are due to come on stream in the first quarter of 2005.

Natural Gas

Natural Gas earned a third-quarter profit before financial items of NOK 1.7 billion, 38 per cent up from the same period of last year. The main reasons for the improvement were a 12 per cent increase in gas prices and a 63 per cent rise in volumes sold.

Gas deliveries began to Italy on 1 October. Statoil’s share of this volume, plus the share of the state´s direct financial interest (SDFI), amounts to 100 billion cubic metres up to 2025. Statoil also started supplying BP on the same day, marking the first sale of Norwegian shelf equity gas by the group to the UK. Statoil and the SDFI will jointly supply 1.6 billion cubic metres annually until 2016.

Manufacturing & Marketing

Profit before financial items for the third quarter was NOK 696 million, compared to NOK 1.4 billion for the same period of last year. The quarterly result primarily reflects a sharp drop in refinery margins and a weak result for the Navion shipping company.

Oil trading, supply and methanol showed good third-quarter results, while the Borealis petrochemical company — owned 50 per cent by Statoil — reported a weak result as caused by lower margins.

Contact persons:

Wenche Skorge, tel. + 47 51 99 79 17/91870741

Kai Nielsen, tel. +47 51 99 18 27/97041332