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Did well in 2002 

February 18, 2003, 08:35 CET

Good results reported by Statoil for 2002 reflect more efficient production operations by the group and its highest-ever annual output of oil and gas.

“We’re delivering higher production while simultaneously enhancing our efficiency,” says chief executive Olav Fjell in a comment on last year’s figures.

“That’s bound to yield a good outcome. Our results place us among the industry’s best performers in terms of profitability.”

Results for 2002 and its fourth quarter were presented today, 18 February, and Mr Fjell notes that the group strengthened its gas position during the year.

“We made progress in the UK gas market, which is the biggest in Europe, and gas sales also rose markedly because we’re still in the build-up phase for our long-term contracts.”

Statoil passed important milestones in its international exploration and production operations during 2002.

“It’s particularly gratifying that we secured our first operatorship in Iran and strengthened our position in Venezuela,” observes Mr Fjell.

“Equally pleasing is the great progress made in Azerbaijan, which has long been an important area for us. And exploration results off western Africa were positive.”

Operations on the Norwegian continental shelf also yielded good results.

“We set a production record on the NCS,” Mr Fjell reports. “A five per cent increase in output reflected high regularity. At the same time, our operations became even more efficient.”

Downstream activities faced difficult market conditions during 2002, but Mr Fjell is well satisfied with the big progress made in results towards the end of the year.

He calls particular attention to a strengthening of Statoil’s position in important markets such as Poland and the Baltic states, and the successful sale of the Navion shipping arm.

Health, safety and the environment presented a mixed picture during 2002, Mr Fjell notes.

“The figures for personal injuries and serious incidents showed positive progress, but we suffered six fatalities in connection with our business. That’s six too many.”

Statoil has accordingly instituted additional measures to ensure that its operations become even safer.

The group achieved a net profit, adjusted for special items, of NOK 16.7 billion as against an adjusted NOK 15.2 billion the year before.

Statoil's annual report and accounts are due to be presented on 27 March.