Strong results and project deliveries 

October 29, 2007, 08:00 CET

In the first nine months of 2007, net income was NOK 29.5 billion compared to NOK 29.1 billion in the first nine months of 2006.

The 26% increase in net income from the third quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2007 was mainly due to an increase in net financial items from currency gains, and partly offset by lower downstream results.

As of 1 October, 2007 Statoil ASA’s merger with Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas operations became effective. Consequently, StatoilHydro ASA’s financial statements for the third quarter of 2007 comprise the financial results for only former Statoil group. From the fourth quarter of 2007, StatoilHydro ASA will report the results of the merged company. StatoilHydro will issue pro-forma financial information on 12 November 2007.

“We continue to deliver strong financial results,” says Helge Lund, StatoilHydro’s chief executive officer. “On 1 October we completed the merger between Statoil and Hydro’s oil and gas activities. I am very pleased to see that we have established a global, competitive energy company while delivering safe and efficient day to day operations.”

On 25 October StatoilHydro signed an agreement with Gazprom to become partner in the first phase of the Shtokman development in the Russian part of the Barents Sea.

“The agreement is an important milestone for us. We are looking forward to cooperating with Gazprom and Total to realise this frontier project,”
says Mr Lund.

The CEO is also satisfied with significant project deliveries and continued high exploration activity.

“We have completed the Snøhvit, Ormen Lange and Statfjord Late Life projects, strengthening StatoilHydro’s strategic position in the European and US gas markets. StatoilHydro has also been successful in both licensing rounds in the Gulf of Mexico, adding valuable exploration acreage for future activities,” Mr Lund notes.

Net operating income in the third quarter of 2007 was NOK 24.4 billion compared to NOK 30.2 billion in the third quarter of 2006. The decrease was mainly due to lower downstream results, a 15% decrease in gas prices measured in NOK, an increase in unrealised profit on inventories of NOK 1.9 billion and higher total operating expenses. The decrease in net operating income was partly offset by increased lifted volumes of oil and gas in International E&P.

Total oil and gas production in the third quarter of 2007 was 1,056,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, compared to 1,076,000 boe per day in the third quarter of 2006. The 2% decrease was mainly related to reduced production on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), and was partly offset by higher production from new fields in International E&P.

Total oil and gas liftings in the third quarter of 2007 were 1,078,000 boe per day, compared to 1,054,000 boe per day in the same period of 2006. This is equivalent to an overlift of 22,000 boe per day in the third quarter of 2007.

Exploration expenditure in the third quarter of 2007 was NOK 2.3 billion, compared to NOK 2.0 billion in the third quarter of 2006.

Exploration expenses for the period consist of exploration expenditure adjusted for the period’s change in capitalised exploration expenditure. Exploration expenses in the third quarter of 2007 amounted to NOK 1.8 billion compared to NOK 1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2006.

A total of 11 exploration and appraisal wells were completed in the third quarter of 2007, seven on the NCS and four internationally. Eight wells are confirmed discoveries. The number of exploration wells completed in the third quarter of 2006 was 16.

Production cost per boe was NOK 31.5 for the 12 months ended 30 September 2007, compared to NOK 26.6 for the 12 months ended 31 December 2006 (*).

Net financial items amounted to an income of NOK 5.5 billion in the third quarter of 2007, compared to a cost of NOK 2.3 billion the third quarter of 2006. Net financial items in the first nine months of 2007 amounted to an income of NOK 8.9 billion, compared to an income of NOK 1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2006.

* See end notes in the complete quarterly report.

Further information from:

Investor relations
Lars Troen Sørensen, senior vice president investor relations, + 47 90 64 91 44 (mobile)
Geir Bjørnstad, vice president, US investor relations, + 1 203 978 6950

Press
Ola Morten Aanestad, vice president media relations, +47 48 08 02 12 (mobile)

Disclaimer

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Operating and Financial Review contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts, including, among others, statements such as those regarding; targets with respect to participation in drilling and exploration activities; plans for future development and operation of projects; reserve information; expected exploration and development activities or expenditures; expected start-up dates for projects; expected dates for deliveries of oil and gas; expected timing and receipt of regulatory and other approvals and expected dates of operatorship transitions; are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are sometimes, but not always, identified by such phrases as “will”, “expects”, “is expected to”, “should”, “may”, “is likely to”, “intends” and “believes”. These forward-looking statements reflect current views with respect to future events and are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including levels of industry product supply, demand and pricing; currency exchange rates; political and economic policies of Norway and other oil-producing countries; general economic conditions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world; global political events and actions, including war, terrorism and sanctions; the timing of bringing new fields on stream; material differences from reserves estimates; inability to find and develop reserves; adverse changes in tax regimes; development and use of new technology; geological or technical difficulties; the actions of competitors; the actions of field partners; the actions of governments; relevant governmental approvals; industrial actions by workers; prolonged adverse weather conditions; natural disasters and other changes to business conditions. Additional information, including information on factors which may affect StatoilHydro’s business, is contained in StatoilHydro’s 2006 Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be found on StatoilHydro’s web site at www.StatoilHydro.com.

Use and reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures
StatoilHydro is subject to SEC regulations regarding the use of “non-GAAP financial measures” in public disclosures. Non-GAAP financial measures are defined as numerical measures that either exclude or include amounts that are not excluded or included in the comparable measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.

For more information on our use of non-GAAP financial measures, see Item 5 - Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures in Statoil’s 2006 Annual Report on Form 20-F/A.

This information in the 20-F is USGAAP
The following financial measures may be considered non-GAAP financial measures:
  • Return on average capital employed (ROACE)
  • Normalised production cost per barrel
  • Net debt to capital employed ratio