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Strong third quarter

October 27, 2003, 08:45 CET

Results delivered by Statoil for the third quarter of 2003 were financially strong. Acting chief executive Inge K Hansen says they show that the group’s strategy is appropriate for achieving both short- and long-term goals.

Being presented today, 27 October, the figures show that Statoil is on track and going forward in accordance with the goals set for 2004 and 2007.

“Net income for the third quarter came to NOK 4.3 billion,” notes Mr Hansen. “We’ve increased our oil and gas sales by five per cent while achieving a 14 per cent cut in operating costs.

“In addition, prices rose by three per cent for oil and 14 per cent for gas.”

Although the third quarter yielded good results, it was also a turbulent period which resulted in changes.

Together with the rest of the top management, Mr Hansen is determined that the group will deliver in accordance with the strategy laid down at the time of the stock market listing just over two years ago.

He also emphasises that Statoil’s established strategies and goals remain unchanged.

Mr Hansen notes that there have been several events of strategic and financial significance in the third quarter.

"We are very satisfied that the basic principles for a new treaty between Norway and the UK have been defined, so that a new pipeline between these two countries can be realised," says the chief executive. "That's very positive for our gas sales business."

Statoil is currently pursuing 13 projects in Norway, which are all expected to come on stream as scheduled and within their budget. Some have recently been completed and are in production.

The Mikkel gas and condensate field in the Norwegian Sea began production as planned on 1 October, at a cost 20 per cent below the original estimate in the plan for development and operation.

In the North Sea, the Vigdis extension development also came on stream two months ahead of schedule and 14 per cent below budget.

And the new extraction train (NET1) project at the Kårstø processing complex north of Stavanger was completed as planned on 1 October, 32 per cent below the original cost estimate.

An encouraging oil discovery on the deepwater Ellida prospect in the Norwegian Sea has also made Statoil optimistic about future developments in these waters.