* 2012 oil/gas output goal 2.1-2.2 mln boed vs prvs 2.2 mln
* Q4 adjusted EBIT falls 21 pct, lags forecasts
* Eyes CAPEX of $13.0 bln in 2010 vs $13.5 bln 2009 plan
(Adds details, quotes)
OSLO, Feb 11 Norway's Statoil (STL.OL) posted a
bigger than expected drop in fourth-quarter operating profit on
Thursday and trimmed its oil and gas production growth target
due to weakness in natural gas markets.
Hit by lower gas prices compared to a year ago, adjusted
operating profit slumped to 34.4 billion Norwegian crowns ($5.84
billion) in October-December from 43.4 billion a year earlier.
The result missed an average forecast for 35.1 billion
crowns in a Reuters poll of 24 analysts, whose adjusted EBIT
predictions for Europe's seventh largest oil and gas company by
market cap had ranged between 31.6 billion crowns to 38.6
Statoil trimmed its 2012 equity method production goal to
2.1-2.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from an
earlier 2.2 million boed goal.
"There is an area of uncertainty related to the 2012
production mainly due to the weak gas market conditions,"
Statoil said in a statement.
"Statoil maintains its positive long-term view on the future
competitiveness of gas. Statoil's objective is to maximise the
value of the gas portfolio, rather than the volumes produced in
any given year."
Statoil set its 2010 capex guidance at $13 billion, against
$13.5 billion planned in 2009 and this year's exploration budget
at $2.3 billion against a planned $2.7 billion last year.
Shares in Statoil will resume trading at 0800 GMT.
(Reporting by Oslo newsroom; Editing by Mike Nesbit)