UPDATE 3-Norway field woes hit Statoil's production view

Wed Feb 9, 2011 9:57am EST

Related Topics

* Sees oil/gas output steady or lower in 2011

* Cuts 2012 output goal to 2 million boed from 2.06-2.16 mln

* Q4 adjusted EBIT up 18.6 pct to NOK 40.8 bln, misses view

* 2010 reserve replacement ratio 87 pct, vs 73 pct in 2009

* Shares down 2.7 percent, lagging energy stocks

(Adds CAPEX, graphic, updates shares)

By Wojciech Moskwa and Daniel Fineren

OSLO/LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Norwegian oil major Statoil (STL.OL) cut its 2012 production target and said protracted problems at ageing North Sea fields may curb output for the second year running in 2011.

Statoil cut its 2012 output view to 2 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent per day (boed) from 2.06-2.16 million boed.

It also said on Wednesday it produced more oil and gas than it found last year, boding badly for its prospects especially with a number of its core North Sea oilfields in decline.

Fourth-quarter adjusted operating profit at the biggest Nordic company by market capitalisation rose due to higher oil prices but missed forecasts.

"Overall, a very disappointing report," said Trond Omdal, an analyst at Arctic Securities, while analysts at Cheuvreux cut their rating on Statoil stock to "underperform".

Equity production -- an approximate measure of oil and gas output targeted by Statoil which does not take into account the company's smaller take as oil prices rise -- fell to 1.89 million boed in 2010 from 1.96 million in 2009.

Statoil said the 5 percent drop in 2010 output was caused by natural production declines on mature fields offshore Norway and lower output from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as well as operational issues in Angola and on the Norwegian shelf -- mainly related to the Gullfaks, Oseberg and Kristin fields.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a graphic on Statoil shares/UK gas prices, click on:

link.reuters.com/tus87r For a factbox on Statoil's major projects: [ID:nLDE7181CS] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

DELAYED RAMP-UP

"We are positioned to deliver a compound annual production growth rate of around 3 percent from 2010 to 2012," chief executive Helge Lund said.

"However, due to the constraints of existing production permits and the temporary issues at (North Sea field) Gullfaks, this growth will not be linear. We expect production for 2011 to be around the 2010 level, or slightly below," Lund said.

Statoil shares were off 2.7 percent to 138.4 crowns at 1420 GMT, lagging a 0.6 percent lower European Oil&Gas index .SXEP.

"There is a clear downward adjustment of previous guidance for 2012 production,"

Enskilda analyst Oddvar Bjoergan said that much of the production cut was expected by the market but there was "a negative reaction when market suspicions are confirmed."

Statoil boosted its 2011 capital expenditure to $16 billion from about $14 billion last year as it sought to tackle more projects and "not because of price pressure", officials said.

Statoil said it had, for the time being, suspended drilling offshore Egypt due to uncertainties over the supply chain amidst widespread protests. Lund also said drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico would probably resume later this year. [ID:nOSN005017]

"SAVED BY GAS"

Adjusted October-December operating profit rose 19 percent to 40.8 billion crowns ($7.1 billion), compared with a forecast for 43.1 billion in a Reuters poll. [ID:nLDE713109]

Fondsfinans analyst Magnus Smistad said weak Norwegian shelf production was coupled with disappointing international output.

"Oil production was also rather weak, and they were saved by gas production on the Norwegian shelf," Smistad said.

Statoil's total gas liftings rose by 3 percent to 809,000 boed in the fourth quarter. For 2010 as a whole, they were flat at 738,000 boed.

Statoil's reserve replacement ratio stood at 87 percent last year, meaning it produced more oil and gas than it found in new deposits and its overall business shrank again. The 2009 ratio was 73 percent.

Statoil said it was involved in 13 fields set to start up by 2012 and add around 200,000 boed in production. Also, some 150,000 boed was expected to be added from the ramp-up of newly started fields. (Additional reporting by Walter Gibbs, Joachim Dagenborg and Ole Petter Skonnord; Editing by Jane Merriman and Dan Lalor) ($1= 5.764 Norwegian crowns)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.