Norwegian energu major Equinor has reported an adjusted operating profit of $74.9bn for 2022, compared with $33.5bn a year ago.

The earnings were boosted by a surge in oil and gas prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Norwegian firm’s adjusted earnings after tax for 2022 were $22.7bn, against $10bn in the same period a year ago.

For the period under review, the firm’s net operating income rose to $78.8bn from $33.66bn a year ago.

The company’s net income for the year stood at $28.7bn while free cash flow was $23.4bn.

Total revenues and other income increased to $150.80bn, from $90.92bn a year earlier.

Equinor president and CEO Anders Opedal said: “Equinor is uniquely positioned to provide energy and contribute to decarbonisation while delivering strong returns.

“Strong earnings and cash flow will enable continued competitive capital distribution and investments in high-value, resilient projects within oil and gas, renewables, and low carbon solutions.”

“On the back of strong earnings, outlook, and balance sheet, we step up capital distribution to an expected $17bn in 2023.”

Equinor announced a cash dividend of $0.30 per share and will also make an additional, extraordinary payment of $0.60 per share for Q4 2022.

Furthermore, the company’s board has decided to increase the share buy-back programme from $1.2bn to $6bn in 2023.

In a press statement, Equinor said: “The share buy-back programme is expected to be executed when Brent oil prices are in or above the range of $50 to $60 per barrel and Equinor’s net debt ratio stays within the communicated ambition of 15%-30%, and this is supported by commodity prices.”