Statoil president and CEO Eldar Sætre. Image courtesy Harald Pettersen/Statoil ASA.

Norway’s Statoil pushed back the start up of its Aasta Hansteen and Mariner fields by about a year as costs for the projects continue to rise.

Statoil said it, along with its partners, have accepted a delayed timetable for the commencement of production from the offshore Aasta Hansteen and Mariner fields.

The fields were initially projected to start up in 2017 but are now expected to come online in the second half of 2018, Statoil said.

The updated cost estimate for Aasta Hansteen has been increased by about 9 percent from the initial plan for development and operation.

The company now estimates the project will cost about $4.36 billion, or NOK 37 billion, after a $280 million currency effect.

Costs for Mariner increased by slightly more than 10 percent from field’s original plan, the company said.

Statoil booked third quarter adjusted earnings of $1.97 billion, or NOK 16.7 billion, down significantly from $3.64 billion in the same period for 2014.

The earnings dip was primarily a consequence of lower liquids prices and increased depreciation but was “partially offset by stronger refining margins, good operational performance and reduced underlying operating costs,” Statoil said.

Statoil’s net operating income according to IFRS for the quarter was $860 million, a huge slide from $2 billion in the same period in 2014.

The company took net impairment charges of $570 million related to exploration assets and various other asset impairments and reversals, provisions for disputes of  $390 million and other net adjustments of $150 million also impacted the IFRS results.

Earnings per share were negative $0.10, or a loss of NOK 0.89, in the quarter, an improvement from a loss of $0.17 per share in the same period last year.

Statoil delivered production of 1.909 million boe per day in the third quarter, up 4 percent compared to the same period in 2014.


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