Equinor reports adjusted earnings of USD 3.55 billion and USD 1.19 billion after tax in the fourth quarter of 2019. IFRS net operating income was USD 1.52 billion and the IFRS net income was negative USD 0.23 billion, following net impairments of USD 1.41 billion.
The fourth quarter and full year were characterised by:
Solid financial results in a quarter with lower commodity prices
Strong operational performance in 2019, and record high production in the fourth quarter
Early start-up and effective ramp up of Johan Sverdrup. New projects on stream in 2019 represent 1.2 billion boe in expected resources net to Equinor, at an average break-even oil price around USD 30 per barrel
Renewables projects in development in 2019 are expected to add 2.8 GW of electricity capacity to Equinor
Strong growth in capital distribution in 2019, reflecting 13% growth in quarterly cash dividend and the launch of a USD 5 billion share buy-back programme
Increase in quarterly cash dividend by 4% to USD 0.27 per share, and launch of an around USD 675 million second tranche of the share buy-back programme, subject to approvals by the annual general meeting
“Record high production, reduced costs and continued strong capital discipline contributed to solid results in a quarter with lower commodity prices. For the year we delivered competitive returns and strong growth in capital distribution.
Going forward, we expect to grow production, returns and cash flow from a world-class project portfolio, representing 6 billion barrels to Equinor with an average break-even oil price below 35 dollars per barrel. The board proposes an increase in the quarterly dividend of 4% and the launch of the second tranche of our 5 billion dollar share buy-back programme, based on an even distribution for the rest of the period,” says Eldar Sætre, President and CEO of Equinor ASA.
“We started production at Johan Sverdrup in October last year, ahead of schedule and more than 30% below the original cost estimate. We expect the entire phase 1 investment to be paid back already by the end of this year, less than 15 months after the first well was put in production,” says Sætre.
“2019 was truly a game-changing year for our renewables business. We made the investment decision for Hywind Tampen in Norway and won the opportunities to develop Empire Wind offshore New York and Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind development, in the UK. Renewables projects in development will add 2.8 gigawatts of electricity capacity to Equinor, more than five-fold our current capacity,” says Sætre.
Adjusted earnings  were USD 3.55 billion in the fourth quarter, down from USD 4.39 billion in the same period in 2018. Adjusted earnings after tax  were USD 1.19 billion, down from USD 1.54 billion in the same period last year. Lower prices for both liquids and gas impacted the earnings for the quarter.
Adjusted operating costs and administrative expenses were down 8% from the same quarter last year. The Marketing, Midstream and Processing segment reported strong trading results and obtained high prices in a challenging market. Results in the E&P International segment were impacted by low US gas prices, higher field development costs and higher than normal expensing of previously capitalised exploration costs.