The FINANCIAL -- Statoil reports adjusted earnings of USD 4.4 billion and USD 1.5 billion after tax in the first quarter of 2018. IFRS net operating income was USD 5.0 billion and the IFRS net income was USD 1.3 billion.
The first quarter was characterised by:
Solid earnings across all segments
Strong cash flow. Net debt ratio reduced from 29.0% to 25.1%
Strong operational performance with record high international production
“Following strong results from our improvement work we have a lower cost base, enabling us to capture high value from higher prices and deliver solid earnings across all segments. We continue our strong operational performance, and international production was record high. The cash flow from operating activities was very strong and above 7 billion dollars in the quarter. We have reduced our net debt ratio from 29.0% to 25.1% after paying for Martin Linge,” says Eldar Sætre, President and CEO of Statoil ASA.
“In the quarter we have accessed attractive acreage in Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico, secured acreage for further developing our renewable business in Poland and taken over the operatorship for Martin Linge. This week, the world’s largest spar platform, arrived at the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea. In addition, Johan Sverdrup and our project portfolio are progressing according to plan and we have delivered the development plan for the Askeladd project for approval,” says Sætre.
“Reflecting our always safe, high value, low carbon strategy and our development as a broad energy company, the board of directors has proposed to the Annual General Meeting in May to change the name of the company to Equinor” says Sætre.
Adjusted earnings were USD 4.4 billion in the first quarter, up from USD 3.3 billion in the same period in 2017. Adjusted earnings after tax were USD 1.5 billion in the first quarter, up from USD 1.1 billion in the same period last year. Higher prices for both oil and gas, coupled with high production, contributed to the increase. The USD/NOK exchange rate development, increased transportation costs, and increased royalty expenses from higher prices, contributed to a cost increase. A change in depreciation basis for one of the fields on the Norwegian continental shelf increased adjusted depreciation expenses by more than USD 100 million. Excluding the effect of new fields coming on stream, underlying operating costs and administrative expenses per barrel are stable from the same quarter last year, according to Statoil.
IFRS net operating income was USD 5.0 billion in the first quarter compared to USD 4.3 billion in the same period of 2017. The increase was partially offset by reduced value of derivatives. IFRS net income was USD 1.3 billion, up from USD 1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2017.
Statoil delivered equity production of 2,180 mboe per day in the first quarter, an increase from 2,146 mboe per day in the same period in 2017. The increase was primarily due to higher production in the US. The underlying production growth was more than 2% compared to the first quarter of 2017.
As of first quarter 2018, Statoil had completed seven exploration wells with two commercial discoveries. Adjusted exploration expenses in the quarter were USD 238 million, up from USD 202 million in the same quarter of 2017, mainly due to higher drilling activity.
Cash flows provided by operating activities before taxes paid and changes in working capital amounted to USD 7.1 billion for the first quarter of 2018 compared to USD 5.9 billion same period 2017. Organic capital expenditure was USD 2.1 billion for the first three months of 2018. End of quarter, net debt to capital employed was reduced from 29.0% to 25.1%, after value enhancing transactions.
The board of directors has decided on a dividend of USD 0.23 per share for the first quarter, on par with the boards proposal for increased dividend for the fourth quarter of 2017.
The twelve-month average Serious Incident Frequency (SIF) was 0.5 for the twelve months ended 31 March 2018, compared to 0.8 in the same period a year ago.