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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Statoil still keen on the Gulf

Norwegian oil company Statoil is logging big losses on the forced disruption of its exploration activity in the Gulf of Mexico, but says it will still gladly expand its operation in the area under the right circumstances.

The company that has driven Norway’s economy for years spent a lot of time discussing the crisis in the Gulf, when it delivered strong second-quarter results on Thursday that nonetheless disappointed analysts and investors. Even though Statoil reported operating profits that were 25 percent higher than last year’s, analysts had expected more, and Statoil’s stock fell 4 percent, and another 2.5 percent on Friday.

The company has said it may lose USD 100 million on the drilling moratorium now in effect in the Gulf, following BP’s fatal drilling rig explosion and subsequent oil spill. 

“This has direct effects on Statoil’s activities, because we had to interrupt something we saw as an exciting exploration program,” Statoil CEO Helge Lund said. Statoil took part in five of the wells where exploration is currently halted.

Lund said Statoil wants to learn as much as it can from the BP disaster, and that he’s certain it will set off more safety requirements and boost safety on offshore installations. He wouldn’t say whether Statoil, the fourth largest owner of deep water drilling licenses in the Gulf, might buy up any BP assets in the Gulf.

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