Statoil Targets Low 4% Production Growth

Statoil, Norway's largest oil company, targeted four percent annual growth in oil and natural gas production for the next five years, looking abroad to compensate for an expected plateau at home.

The state controlled company anticipates a 2.3 percent increase in output in 2002, less than half the growth goals of bigger rivals such as BP and Eni, Chief Executive Officer Olav Fjell said. Statoil shares fell 2.8 percent.

“Statoil is not a growth story at this stage,” said Jurjen Lunshof, an energy analyst with Barnard Jacobs Mellet Holdings in London.

With Norway's oil reserves forecast to decline after 2004, Statoil is looking to Iran, Brazil, Angola and Mexico to boost revenue. By 2012, forty percent of oil and gas will be pumped abroad, up from ten percent in 2004, Fjell said.

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