STAVANGER, Norway, April 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Statoil's (OSE:STL, NYSE:STO) first quarter 2014 net operating income was NOK 51.4 billion, a 35% increase compared to the first quarter of 2013. Adjusted earnings were up 9% to NOK 46.0 billion. "We are pleased to present strong financial results for the quarter. Higher prices and good results from our US gas value chain contributed to a 9% increase in adjusted earnings, compared to same quarter last year. Our operational performance is solid, providing the foundation for around 2% rebased organic production growth in 2014," says Helge Lund, Statoil's president and CEO. Net operating income was NOK 51.4 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 35% compared to the first quarter of 2013. After quarter specific items, adjusted earnings were NOK 46.0 billion, a 9% increase compared to the same quarter last year. The adjustments of NOK 5.4 billion is primarily related to an award payment following a commercial dispute and gain on sale of assets. The increased revenue was mainly due to higher prices and improved contribution from the gas value chain. Adjusted earnings after tax were NOK 15.8 billion, compared to NOK 12.0 billion in the same period last year. "With strong cash flows from operations and firm capital discipline, we further strengthened our financial position. The Board proposes to distribute a dividend payment of NOK 1.80 per share for the quarter, in line with our commitment to capital distribution," says Lund. Underlying operation costs were stable. Exploration expenditure was NOK 4.7 billion, down 7% compared to same quarter last year. Earnings per share were NOK 7.43 in the quarter, up from NOK 2.02 in the first quarter last year. The net debt to capital employed at the end of the quarter was 10%. "To meet the industry cost and capital intensity challenge we have initiated new, comprehensive measures in the quarter to further strengthen our efficiency and cost competitiveness, while we reached important milestones in the ongoing process of reducing our cost base. We are on track, executing on our plan to deliver high value growth," says Lund.
Statoil delivered a production of 1,978 mboe per day in the first quarter, down 1% compared to first quarter in 2013. Continued strong project development and execution enabled concept selection for the Johan Sverdrup field and brought the Gudrun field on stream. Johan Sverdrup will be Statoil's largest field development since the 1980s. The field centre will be developed in multiple phases, with a field capacity in the first phase of 315,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The Gudrun project was delivered below cost and on time, utilising the global supplier market.The continued progress in the Serious incident frequency per million man hours (SIF) was overshadowed by a fatality. A contractor was fatally injured while working on clearing the path for a future pipeline in the US. The SIF in the quarter was 0.6, compared to 0.7 in the same period last year. Key events since fourth quarter 2013:
- Production started from the Gudrun project and the fast-track projects Svalin and Vilje Sør on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
- The concept selection for the Johan Sverdrup phase 1 project on the NCS was approved by the pre-unit owners.
- Gas and oil was discovered in the Valemon Nord, Askja East and West, F-West and Sao Bernardo wells.
- Statoil was awarded a deep-water exploration block together with ConocoPhillips in the Myanmar waters of Bay of Bengal.
- Statoil's acquisition of 25% equity in the BM-ES-22A concession in the Espírito Santo basin offshore Brazil was approved.
- Statoil was awarded interests in ten production licenses in the Awards in Predefined Areas 2013 on the NCS.
- Statoil has signed an agreement to divest a 15% interest in the Statoil-operated block 39 offshore Angola in the Kwanza pre-salt basin. Statoil retains an interest of 40%.
- The agreement to divest 3.33% of Statoils 25.5% holdings in the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus Pipeline was closed. The agreement to divest further 6.67% is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.
PressJannik Lindbæk jr., vice president for media relations,+47 977 55 622 (mobile)This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act. Financial statements and review 1st quarter 2014 http://hugin.info/132799/R/1780711/608920.pdf Press release 2014 First quarter results http://hugin.info/132799/R/1780711/608922.pdf Presentation 1st quarter 2014 Torgrim Reitan CFO http://hugin.info/132799/R/1780711/608924.pdf HUG#1780711