Norway’s Equinor posts strong Q1, to exit Russian ventures

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — State-owned Equinor ASA of Norway said Wednesday that it has “optimized the gas production to deliver higher volumes” and one if its plants in the Arctic that had been under repairs since a 2020 fire “is on track for a safe start-up on May 17.”

The chief executive of the Stavanger, Norway-based company called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “a dark moment for Europe” and said Equinor had started the process of pulling out of its Russian joint ventures.

“Exiting Russia will heavily impact our employees, and it leads to impairments of our assets in the country this quarter,” CEO Anders Opedal said as the company presented its first quarter results.

Equinor posted revenue of $36.4 billion, up 100% from the same period last year. Net operating income was $18.4 billion in the first quarter, compared to $5.2 billion in the same period of 2021.

It said that the energy prices increased in the quarter, as Russia’s war in Ukraine added to the uncertainty in already tight markets, in particular for European natural gas.

Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG plant liquefies gas from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea. The September 2020 fire that caused extensive damage to the facility was traced to the air intake of one of the plant’s five turbines.

Equinor said around 1,000 people have been working to get the plant back into operation, a process the coronavirus pandemic prolonged.

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