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Norway’s Equinor posts higher than expected profit in first quarter

Equinor on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings above market expectations.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax came in at $12 billion in the January-March period compared with a profit of $18 billion a year ago.

The median analyst estimate had pointed to earnings of $11.2 billion.

“Equinor delivered strong earnings and cash flow across the business and remains a safe and reliable provider of energy to Europe,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Anders Opedal was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Still, earnings were well below last year’s record levels amid a considerable drop in natural gas prices.

Equinor’s average gas sales price to Europe dropped 37% YoY in the first quarter, while the sales price of oil decreased 24% YoY, the company said.

Oil and gas production amounted to 2.13 million barrels of oil equivalent per day during the first quarter, compared with 2.1 million in the year-ago period since an increase at fields such as Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 and Snoehvit in Norway, along with Peregrino in Brazil, made up for depletion at other sites.

Gas volumes accounted for over 55% of the total output, Equinor said.

The shares of Equinor ASA (EQNR) were last gaining 3.73% (NOK 10.95) to trade at NOK 304.35 in Oslo on Thursday, while snapping a two-day streak of losses.

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