Norwegian energy giant Equinor said Wednesday that soaring gas prices helped it more than double its revenue in the third quarter. Equinor, which is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian state, said that its net profit rose to $1.4 billion between July to September this year, compared to a loss during the same period in 2020, partly due to asset write-downs.
But the profit figure was well below analyst expectations of $2 billion.
However, total revenue hit $23 billion, narrowly beating expectations of $22 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Factset.The number was also more than twice the revenue of the same period last year, when many businesses were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Equinor’s preferred indicator — net operating profit, which excludes some one-off items, came in well above expectations at $9.8 billion. Energy prices have surged recently as the global economy recovers from the pandemic, and the northern hemisphere heads towards winter.
Chief executive Anders Opedal said that “the global economy is in recovery, but we are still prepared for volatility related to the impact of the pandemic”. “The current unprecedented level and volatility in European gas prices underlines the uncertainty in the market,” he said in the statement.
“Equinor has an important role as a reliable energy provider to Europe and we have taken steps to increase our gas exports to respond to the high demand.”Equinor’s average price of oil per barrel reached $69.2 in the third quarter — up from $38.3 a year earlier.Still largely oil-based, the company said in June it plans to invest $23 billion in renewable energy by 2026.