Statoil ASA (STO)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

October 27, 2011 07:30 ET


Hilde Nafstad – Head, Investor Relations

Torgrim Reitan – Chief Financial Officer

Kåre Thomsen – Senior Vice President, Accounting and Financial Compliance

Svein Skeie – Senior Vice President, Performance Management & Analysis


John Olaisen – Carnegie

Helge André Martinsen – Nordea Markets

Brendan Warn – Jefferies

Michael Alsford – Citigroup

Mark Bloomfield – Deutsche Bank

Oswald Clint – Sanford Bernstein

Hootan Yazhari – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Nitin Sharma – JPMorgan

Teodor Nilsen – First Securities

Dominique Patry – Cheuvreux

Matt Lofting – Nomura


Hilde Nafstad – Head, Investor Relations

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Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Statoil’s Third Quarter Earnings Presentation and Conference Call. My name is Hilde Nafstad. I am the Head of Investor Relations in Statoil.

Before we start, let me say that there will be no fire drills planned for today. In case the fire alarm goes off, you will need to exit through the two doors in the back of each side of the room and continue on towards the same side. This morning at 7:30 Central European Time, we announced the results for the third quarter of 2011. The press release regarding the results was distributed through the wires and through Oslo Stock Exchange. The quarterly report and today’s presentation can, as usual, be downloaded from our website, There is a link directed to the presentation on the front page of

I will ask you to kindly make special note of the information regarding forward-looking statements, which can be found on the last page on the presentation set. Please note that questions can be posed by means of telephone. Questions cannot be posed directly from the web. The dial-in numbers for posting questions can be found on the website. The operator of the conference call will explain the procedure for posing questions over the phone immediately before the Q&A session starts.

It is now my privilege to introduce our Chief Financial Officer, Torgrim Reitan.

Torgrim Reitan – Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Hilde, and welcome, everyone. So it’s a pleasure for me to present Statoil’s results for the third quarter for 2011, a quarter where we delivered strong financial results. We produced as expected and we have made significant steps towards long-term growth.

So let us turn to some of the highlights since we last met. In the past months, we have taken large steps in line with the strategy we announced at our Capital Markets Day in June. First of all, we have achieved strong financial results with a significant increase in earnings and in addition to stable production this has been a quarter with successful exploration. Of course, the most important one is the Aldous and Avaldsnes discovery, and I can tell you in Statoil, we have not stopped smiling yet, and we have problems with stopping to smile. So this is one large oil discovery.

There’s communication between the two licenses and we hold 40% in both of those. And on Friday last week, we announced the doubling of the volumes in the Aldous part, and we increased our estimate to between 900 million and 1.5 billion barrels on the Aldous part alone. The combined Aldous/Avaldsnes is a giant and it is growing. And this is probably one of the five largest discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf ever.

So we will work with the partners to ensure the necessary clarifications and the rapid and optimal development of the field. But we are making discoveries elsewhere also, and worldwide we have completed 13 wells in the period and we have made nine discoveries. Furthermore, we actively manage our portfolio to create value, and we will put our money where our strategy is. So we are expanding into unconventionals, and last week, we announced an offer to acquire Brigham Exploration. So let me quickly run through the highlights once more. This is actually one of the largest single transactions Statoil has ever done. So this deal fits well, it builds on Statoil’s approach into U.S. unconventionals.

First through the Marcellus deal, and last year with the Eagle Ford deal. And this one, now establish Statoil as an operator in unconventional plays. We will be one of the first majors in this area. And Brigham has some of the highest initial production rates in the Williston Basin and they have been in the forefront of investing in value-adding equipment and infrastructure. We have a strong record in applying technology. We believe there is additional potential to unlock upside through our technology and R&D capabilities. So we look very much forward to creating more value together with our new colleagues.

Let me also mention that we are maturing our project portfolio. We have submitted plans for developments and operations for the Skuld field in the Norwegian Sea and for the subsea compression project at Åsgard. And also in the quarter, the PDO for Stjerne and Vigdis North East was approved by the Ministry. And Skuld, Stjerne and Vigdis are examples of fast-track projects. And so far, four fast-track projects have been approved, a fifth one has been submitted and two more PDOs will be delivered before year end. So we are taking significant steps and we move ahead as planned.

Then over to production. In the third quarter, production was as expected. Our equity production was 1,764 mboe per day, and this is a 14% increase over the third quarter last year. But, as you may recall, that quarter had a lot of maintenance. We have started up new fields and are ramping up existing fields. And I would like to mention that Peregrino started in Brazil, which took place in April. We are proud to see such a safe and efficient start-up of Statoil’s largest international operatorship. And we expect to produce at full capacity from Peregrino within one year from start-up. And actually Peregrino makes Statoil the second largest operator in Brazil, and it offers us opportunities for growth in a key offshore cluster.

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