Equinor (EQNR) Gets Approval to Expand Norway's Oseberg Fields

Equinor ASA EQNR received approval from the Norway Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for new investments in the North Sea’s Oseberg oil fields to increase natural gas exports to Europe from 2026.

In November 2021, Equinor and partners submitted an application in the Oseberg license for the development and operation of the Oseberg field. The company plans to invest NOK 10 billion in infrastructure upgrades on the field.

Equinor expects the development plan to increase production at Oseberg by 31.2 million cubic meters of oil equivalent or 196 million barrels of oil equivalent. Of the total, 87% will likely be gas. Most of the gas will be delivered to the Europe markets. Equinor operates the Oseberg field with a 49.3% interest.

The latest development will enable Equinor and partners to significantly increase gas production in the Oseberg field in the future, while reducing emissions by an estimated 320,000 tons per year. The redevelopment will make Oseberg Norway’s third-largest natural gas field, measured in remaining reserves.

Oseberg is likely to become one of the primary gas producers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. When it came online, the field was expected to produce one billion oil barrels. Equinor now expects the field to produce 3.2 billion barrels of oil.

Oseberg is anticipated to produce 100 billion cubic meters of gas by 2040. The yearly production will be equivalent to the energy volumes for about a quarter of all Norwegian hydropower production.

Price Performance

Shares of Equinor have underperformed the industry in the past six months. The stock has gained 2.7% compared the industry’s 5.2% growth.


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Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Equinor currently carries a Zack Rank #2 (Buy).

Investors interested in the energy sector might look at the following companies that also presently carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Phillips 66 PSX is the leading player in each of its operations, like refining, chemicals and midstream, in terms of size, efficiency and strengths. PSX’s third-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share of $6.46 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.98.

Phillips 66’s board of directors authorized a $5-billion increase to its stock repurchase program, bringing the total share repurchases authorized since 2012 to $20 billion. This represents Phillips 66’s strong focus on returning capital to stockholders.

Petrobras PBR is one of the largest publicly-traded Latin America oil companies, which dominates Brazil’s oil and gas sector. PBR’s third-quarter 2022 earnings per ADS of $1.35 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.32.

In further good news for investors, Petrobras plans to pay RMB 43.7 billion or $8.5 billion in total dividends in 2022.

Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM reported third-quarter 2022 earnings per share of $4.45, excluding identified items, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.88. Strong earnings have resulted from higher realized commodity prices and oil-equivalent production, and strong refining margins.

ExxonMobil announced a fourth-quarter dividend of 91 cents per share, indicating an increase of 3.4% from the last dividend payment of 88 cents. The dividend is payable on Dec 9.

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