Statoil ASA (STO) reported its third quarter results of 38 cents per share, compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 40 cents and in line with the year-earlier quarter earnings. Revenue for the quarter was NOK 123.1 billion ($20.1 billion), down 29% year over year. 

Though the company’s results were hurt by lower commodity prices, Statoil continues to maintain a high activity level both in Norway and internationally. Equity and entitlement productions were up 8% and 10% year over year, respectively, with the start-up of operations on several new oil and gas fields such as Tyrihans in the Norwegian Sea, Tune Sor in the North Sea and Thunder Hawk in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Total oil and gas entitlement production during the quarter averaged 1.71 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (MMBOE/d), 62% of which was oil and 38% natural gas, compared to 1.55 MMBOE/d in the year-earlier period. Total oil and gas liftings in the quarter were 1.66 MMBOE/d, compared to 1.50 MMBOE/d in the year-earlier period. During the quarter, the company’s realized oil prices averaged NOK 400 ($65.5) per barrel, down approximately 39% year over year, while realized natural gas prices averaged NOK 1.61 (26 cents) per standard cubic meter, down approximately 32% from the year-ago level. 

Net adjusted operating income during the quarter was NOK 31.2 billion ($5.1 billion), down by 41% from the year-earlier quarter. The decrease was primarily caused by the reduction in prices for both liquids and gas, partly compensated by increased sales volumes of liquids and gas. 

During the quarter, total capital investment was NOK 25 billion ($4.1 billion) and operating cash flows were NOK 22.5 billion ($3.7 billion). Net debt-to-capitalization ratio stood at 27.1%. 

Statoil expects its 2009 equity production to be 1.95 MMBOE/d. Capital expenditures for 2009 are expected to be around US$13.5 billion. Excluding purchases of fuel and gas for injection, unit production cost for equity volumes in 2009 to 2012 is expected to be in the range of NOK 33 to 36 per barrel. The company expects to complete around 70 exploration and appraisal wells in 2009. 

Statoil is gaining momentum with the start-up of operations on several new oil and gas fields. A sharp rise in production is offsetting the fall in oil and gas prices, which helps the company to experience smaller profit declines than other large European oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and BP plc (BP).
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