OSLO, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Norway’s Statoil cut its 2016 capital expenditure plans again on Thursday after missing third-quarter earnings forecasts hurt by lower-than-expected output and low oil prices.
Like other oil companies, Statoil has been slashing investments, jobs and projects to cope with a 56-percent decline in the price of crude since mid-2014.
On Thursday it said it would cut its capital expenditure for 2016 to $11 billion from $12 billion and its exploration spending to $1.5 billion from $1.8 billion.
In July, the company reduced those figures from $13 billion and $2 billion, respectively.
“The financial results were affected by low oil and gas prices, extensive planned maintenance and expensed exploration wells from previous periods,” CEO Eldar Saetre said in a statement.
Adjusted operating profit fell to $636 million from $2 billion a year earlier, well below the $950 million expected by analysts. All three divisions of the company missed forecasts.
Statoil’s daily production of oil and gas averaged 1.805 million barrels of oil equivalents in the quarter, below a Reuters poll forecast of 1.822 million.
Statoil shares were down 0.44 percent at 0704 GMT, in line with the European oil and gas index which was down 0.32 percent.
Some analysts highlighted bright spots in the results, such as the company’s adjusted cash flow of $2.8 billion and the further cut in capital expenditure.
“It is a tough call since Statoil has lowered its capex guidance and reported strong cash flow, and the shares underperformed peers into the numbers. We see any share price weakness today as a buying opportunity,” DNB Markets said in a note to clients.
“Headline miss, underlying trends more encouraging,” said RBC Capital Markets. “Underlying results appear more positive to us than at first glance, with continued progress on cost reduction and a further reduction in capex for 2016 to $11 billion.”
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, Ole Petter Skonnord and Gwladys Fouche; writing by Gwladys Fouche; editing by Terje Solsvik and Jason Neely)
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