Norwegian energy firm Equinor has reported a net income of $1.41bn for the third quarter of 2021 as against a loss of $2.12bn a year ago.

The company has attributed the results to higher oil and gas prices, as well as net reversal of impairments of $0.51bn.

The firm reported a net operating income of $9.57bn compared to negative $2.019bn in the same quarter of 2020.

Adjusted earnings rose to $9.77bn from $780m in the third quarter of 2020, and adjusted earnings after tax increased to $2.77bn from $271m in the same period last year.

Equinor president and CEO Anders Opedal said: “The current unprecedented level and volatility in European gas prices underlines the uncertainty in the market.

“Equinor has an important role as a reliable energy provider to Europe and we have taken steps to increase our gas exports to respond to the high demand.”

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Equinor’s marketing, midstream and processing (MMP) unit posted adjusted earnings of $2.19bn compared to $262m in the third quarter of 2020.

In the July-September quarter of 2021, Equinor’s total equity production stood at 1,996 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe) versus 1,994Mboe/d in the year-ago period.

The company plans a $1bn share buyback plan during the next three months to capitalise on the favourable commodity price conditions and strong cash flow generation.

Although the firm planned to buy shares worth up to $300m during the previous three months, it ended up purchasing $99m shares as of 30 September.