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Equinor reduces 2019 capex spending view after in-line second quarter

Equinor reduces 2019 capex spending view after in-line second quarter
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, is seen at the company's headquarters in Fornebu, Norway May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Nerijus Adomaitis -
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Nerijus Adomaitis(Reuters)
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OSLO (Reuters) – European oil major Equinor <EQNR.OL> said on Thursday it expects to spend less in capital expenditure this year, partly due to further cost savings at its Johan Sverdrup oilfield, after reporting quarterly earnings roughly in line with forecasts.

The company now expects to spend between $10 billion ( £8 billion ) and $11 billion in capital expenditure in 2019 against its previous guidance of $11 billion.

Combined with efficient project execution, continued strong cost focus and capital discipline helped the company to reduce its organic capex guidance for 2019, Chief Executive Officer Eldar Saetre said in a statement.

Equinor and partners made further cost savings, of 3 billion crowns, in developing the giant Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea due to start production in November, bringing total cost savings at the field to 40 billion crowns, Equinor said.

It also said Sverdrup would ramp up operations faster than expected and the field would reach peak production in summer 2020.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell to $3.15 billion in the second quarter from $4.3 billion during the same period of 2018, a touch lower than a forecast of $3.4 billion in a poll of 22 analysts collected by Equinor.

Equinor’s equity oil and gas production was 2.01 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the quarter, in line with a forecast in the Equinor poll, and slightly down from 2.03 million boepd a year ago.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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