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Good start for Norway's Aker BP

Company formed last year as a merger between BP and Norwegian companies.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Good start for Norway's Aker BP
New merged Norwegian energy company, Aker BP, boasts of a strong fourth quarter. File Photo by project1photography/Shutterstock

Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A Norwegian major that emerged as a result of a merger involving BP said its fourth quarter performance was indicative of long-term durability.

Aker BP, a merger of Norwegian energy companies and a national subsidiary of BP, reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization at $485 million for the fourth quarter, which it attributed to a string of milestone achievements in its short track record.

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"Aker BP continued to deliver a solid performance in the fourth quarter with stable, safe and efficient operations," CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said in a statement. "The company paid its first dividend in December and aims to sustain a minimum dividend level of $250 million per year going forward."

The Norwegian government confirmed an Aker BP discovery in December near the Frigg field in the North Sea at between 25 million and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents. In January, the company boasted that its Valhall and Hod complex in the North Sea passed a production milestone of 1 billion barrels of product, far more than expected and well ahead of schedule.

RELATED Another North Sea production milestone

The company said it realized an average price of oil during the fourth quarter at $52 per barrel, leading to petroleum revenues of $542 million. The merged assets under the Aker BP umbrella, meanwhile, means the company is the largest independent oil company in Europe.

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Norway is a lead oil producer for the European economy, apart from Russia. The government reported preliminary production for December was around 2 million barrels per day, which was 3 percent lower than November. Full-year production, however, showed an increase for the third straight year.

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