On the right track

October 31, 2005, 08:35 CET

Industrial and financial results for the third quarter show that Statoil is constantly taking important steps towards meeting its strategic targets, says chief executive Helge Lund.

In addition to rising oil and gas prices, a substantial increase in production and good results in refining have made their mark on the interim results for this period.

“Output rose by no less than 17 per cent from the same quarter of 2004,” says Mr Lund. “Our operations off Norway and internationally both contributed to this strong growth.

“We’re maintaining our estimate of an average daily production of 1,175,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) for 2005. Nor are we changing the goal of 1.4 million boe per day in 2007.”

Statoil’s oil production from the Norwegian continental shelf was rather lower in the third quarter than in the same period of last year, while gas output grew very strongly.

“Our overall production from the NCS averaged 932,000 boe per day, a 10 per cent increase from the same period of last year,” Mr Lund notes.

“Output from our international operations came to 196,000 boe per day, up by 65 per cent from the third quarter of 2004.”

“We also secured new building blocks for our international activities during the autumn, including the award of five new licences in Libya, Brazil and Nigeria,” Mr Lund says.

“Our position in the Gulf of Mexico was further strengthened through an exploration collaboration with ExxonMobil, and we’re on Gazprom’s short-list for the Shtokman development in the Barents Sea.

“These results help to underpin our purposeful efforts to achieve a long-term industrial development.”

Mr Lund also points to the positive contribution made by the refining business in the third quarter.

“The Mongstad refinery had a regularity of 99.6 per cent during this period, and margins were good. This facility ranks today as one of our most important industrial plants.”

Where health, safety and the environment (HSE) are concerned, he notes that lost-time injury statistics improved again in the third quarter.

“It’s good that our efforts are showing up in important HSE indicators. However, we suffered serious incidents during the autumn which mean that we can’t say we’re satisfied.

“A further improvement in safety results will demand a high level of management attention and systematic follow-up by the whole organisation.”