OSLO, Norway (AP) - Higher oil and gas prices and the sale of a stake in a Brazilian oil field helped Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA post record profits in the second quarter of the year, the company said Thursday.
Quarterly earnings soared to 27.1 billion kroner ($5 billion) - up from 3.1 million kroner ($570,000) during the same period last year - largely due to an average 28 percent average increase in gas prices. In addition, a sale of a 40 percent stake in the lucrative Peregrino offshore field in Brazil garnered 8.8 billion kroner ($1.6 billion).
Statoil bought half of the Peregrino field in 2005 and the other half in 2008. The field sits about 53 miles (85 kilometers) from the Brazilian coast under about 328 feet (100 meters) of water.
Operating income also surged during the period, soaring 129 percent to 61 billion kroner ($11.3 billion) year-on-year.
The company said production for the three-month period was down 18 percent compared with the same period last year, mainly due to maintenance activities. Production for the period was 1.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent per day, with oil accounting for some 63 percent of total output.
"We continued to make progress within exploration and growth developments in the quarter, staying on track to deliver future growth," CEO Helge Lund said.