Today’s program will start out with Statoil’s CFO, Torgrim Reitan, going through the earnings and the outlook for the company. As usual, the presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Please note that questions can be posted by means of telephone only not directly from the web. The dial-in numbers for posing questions can be found on the website.
It is now my privilege to introduce Chief Financial Officer, Torgrim Reitan.
Thank you, Hilde, and good afternoon to all of you here in Oslo; and good morning and good afternoon to all of you on the webcast following us there.
So, it is a pleasure to present our results for the first quarter today. This is our best adjusted earnings ever, 11% production growth but that is as expected. We are continuing our exploration success and we keep on streamlining our portfolio for the longer term, so a strong quarter.
But before I get started on production and financials, I want to start with a strategic progress. We made three new high-impact discoveries this quarter, Norway, Tanzania, and Brazil. Two out of these three are operated by Statoil and this means six high-impact wells over the last 12 months, so we will keep on drilling for more and I’ll get back to this later today.
This weekend, we signed a strategic operational agreement with Rosneft. This is an important milestone in our Arctic exploration program. Also this, we will come back to later and we have the pleasure to have with us Tim Dodson, our Head of Exploration. So he will be available in the Q&A session and I’m sure he looks very much forward to tell you all about this.
We continued to streamline our portfolio towards being a technology focused upstream E&P company. And in April, we accepted a cash offer for our shares in Statoil Fuel & Retail. Couche – Tard is a strong industrial buyer. They are offering an attractive price, a premium of 53%. So SFR will continue their strategic development under long term industrial ownership. And for us, it frees up capital, so we can put our money where our strategy is. The offer period will last until the 21st of May and we expect to close the deal in the second quarter.