Equinor suspends production guidance after Norway imposes cuts

EQUINOR gave warning last month it would cut its dividend by 67% in anticipation of a poor first quarter showing and confirmed it overnight in its quarterly results which saw EBIT fall 51% year-on-year, capital and operations spending cuts total US$3 billion and a suspension of both its share buyback program and its production guidance. 
Equinor suspends production guidance after Norway imposes cuts Equinor suspends production guidance after Norway imposes cuts Equinor suspends production guidance after Norway imposes cuts Equinor suspends production guidance after Norway imposes cuts Equinor suspends production guidance after Norway imposes cuts

Johan Sverdrup

Helen Clark


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The company reported an impairment worth US$2.4 billion, $40 million of which came from its presence in Australia. Over the quarter, Equinor backed away from its plans to drill the Stromlo-1 exploration well in the Bight, citing commercial reasons. 
Its oil price expectation for the year is now US$31 per barrel down from $59. 
"Uncertainty remains high with very low commodity prices and increased differentials towards the end of the first quarter and in the start of the second quarter. We will continue to prioritise value over volume and have already reduced activity, particularly in the US onshore," CEO Eldar Saetre said. 
Earnings were down US$2 billion for the first three months of the year down from $4.2 billion and adjusted earnings after tax were $560 million down from $1.54 billion, hit largely by lower earnings from both gas and liquids, despite a slight improvement in costs. 
"The Marketing, Midstream and Processing segment reported strong results from European natural gas offset by the effects of weak refinery margins and product trading in a demanding volatile market. Equinor delivered record high electricity production from the renewable business," it said. 
Thanks to market uncertainties and government-imposed production cuts Equinor has suspended production guidance for the rest of this year. 
Norway, which is not part of OPEC, announced last week it would cut production by 250,000 barrels per day of oil but gas production would remain steady. 
Energy minister Tina Bru said cuts begin next month and will be made up of 134,000bopd of constrained production, while several fields due for start up will be delayed. 
However this quarter it said it delivered "record"  production of 2.23 million barrels a day, a rise of 3% over the previous corresponding period, driven by early ramp up at its huge Johan Sverdrup field. 
After the reporting period the giant field was delivering 470,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. 
"The flexibility in the gas fields was used to defer production into periods with higher expected gas prices. 
"Joint efforts by individuals, governments and companies are necessary to respond to the current global emergency," Saetre said. 
"We have also taken forceful actions to strengthen our financial resilience, and we are prepared to take further measures as necessary to protect people, operations and value creation
"Our values and strategy remain firm, and we are committed to develop Equinor as a broad energy company. It is a sound business strategy to ensure competitiveness and drive change towards a low carbon future, based on a strong commitment to value creation for our shareholders." 

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