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Good progress in second quarter

August 4, 2003, 09:30 CEST

Yet another set of good quarterly results is presented by Statoil today, 4 August. Chief executive Olav Fjell is sure that the group will position itself even more strongly and meet its short- and long-term targets.

”Our interim results show that April-June was another positive quarter for us,” Mr Fjell reports with gratification. ”We achieved a net profit of NOK 4.4 billion.

”If we exclude a big currency gain incorporated in the 2002 figures, that represents an improvement from the same period of last year.”

Planned maintenance projects and seasonal variations mean that Statoil’s oil and gas production averaged 966,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the second quarter.

But Mr Fjell is confident that Statoil will achieve its upgraded target for an average daily production of 1,070,000 boe in 2003 as a whole.

”Our many demanding development projects on the Norwegian continental shelf are progressing as planned in terms of both time and cost,” he notes.

”At the same time, we’re staking out the way ahead through the important Tampen 2020 efficiency improvement work, and showing that the potential exists for even greater value creation in the longer term.”

Internationally, he notes that Statoil has made a strategically important acquisition of interests in two Algerian gas fields.

”Our ambition is to be a leading supplier of gas to European customers. The position in Algeria gives us a sound basis for providing good and cost-effective service to southern Europe.”

Statoil presented tougher targets for profitability and growth at its Capital Markets Day on 12 June. Following the Algerian acquisition, the growth goal for 2005-07 was upgraded to six per cent.

”These are ambitious but realistic goals,” says Mr Fjell. ”We have an organisation which can exploit the opportunities available to us for meeting these targets to the full.”

He notes that it will be important in future to maintain good regularity and operation, both in the production teams on land and offshore and throughout the rest of the organisation.

”At the same time, we’ll be continuing our constant hunt for improvements. This work is well under way. The improvement programme we launched last year remains on schedule.

”I hope these good interim results will prove encouraging to all Statoil employees, so that they can focus on new tasks and ensure that the next quarter is even better.”