Equinor Q1 profit beats forecast

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 11:51 PM

OSLO (Reuters) -Equinor on Thursday posted higher-than-expected profits for the first quarter and said this was driven by high production in its native Norway and strong operational performance.

The Norwegian oil and gas producer’s adjusted earnings before tax for January-March fell to $7.53 billion from $11.92 billion a year earlier amid lower gas prices, beating the $7.2 billion seen in a poll of 22 analysts compiled by Equinor.

The decline in gas prices was only partially offset by production growth and increased oil prices, the company said.

“Production on the Norwegian continental shelf was high, and the international portfolio contributed with solid production growth,” Equinor CEO Anders Opedal said in a statement.

The company in 2022 overtook Russia’s Gazprom as Europe’s biggest supplier of natural gas as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine upended decades-long energy ties.

Equinor in the first quarter pumped 2.16 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, in line with expectations in the analyst poll and maintained a projection that oil and gas output will remain flat this year compared with 2023.

The company in an annual review in February said the combined oil and gas production was set to increase after 2024, rising some 5% by 2026 before declining somewhat towards 2030.

First-quarter natural gas output from its Norwegian operations rose by 1% year-on-year to 814,000 barrels of oil equivalent, while analysts had expected 810,000 boed.

The Dutch TTF front-month gas contract, Europe’s benchmark, averaged 27.51 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) in the first quarter, down from 52.73 euros/MWh a year earlier, reflecting a mild winter and well-filled storages.

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)