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Norway’s energy giant Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) booked 57% lower adjusted earnings in the second quarter compared to the same period of 2022 as oil and natural gas prices slumped from last year’s high levels.
Equinor reported on Wednesday adjusted earnings of $7.54 billion for the second quarter of 2023, down by 57% year on year. Net income slumped by 73% to $1.829 billion, while cash flows from operating activities plunged by 78% to $1.857 billion.
The lower earnings and cash flows were largely expected by the market, considering that the prices of oil and gas were much lower in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022 just after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the height of the supply panic.
Equinor’s adjusted earnings were in line with the $7.6 billion consensus estimate provided by 21 analysts to Equinor.
Equinor realized a price for piped gas to Europe of $11.5 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) and an average liquids price $70.3 per barrel, down by 58% and 34%, respectively, compared to the second quarter 2022.
“Equinor delivered solid earnings in a quarter affected by turnarounds and energy prices down from the extraordinary levels last year,” Equinor president and chief executive Anders Opedal said.
Total oil and gas production was 1.994 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) for the second quarter, up from 1.984 million boepd in the same quarter of 2022. Higher oil production from the increased capacity of the giant Johan Sverdrup field offshore Norway and high production from the Peregrino field in Brazil was partially offset by lower gas production offshore Norway due to planned maintenance, the temporary shutdown of Hammerfest LNG, and fields connected to the third-party operated Nyhamna gas process facility.
Equinor kept its dividend and buyback policies despite the lower earnings.
The board of directors has decided on an ordinary cash dividend of $0.30 per share, and to continue the extraordinary cash dividend of $0.60 per share for the second quarter of 2023, as communicated to the market in February. The board also decided to initiate a third tranche of the share buy-back program for 2023 of $1.67 billion, which will begin on July 27 and end no later than October 26, 2023.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.