Norwegian energy company Equinor has announced its results for the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, reporting increased profits from Q1 2018.

The company’s adjusted earnings after tax for Q1 2019 were $1.54bn, a 4% increase from $1.47bn in Q1 2018 and roughly the same as Q4 2018’s earnings. Net operating income for Q1 2019 was $4.7bn, a decrease from 2018’s Q4 and Q1 net operating incomes of $6.7bn and $5bn respectively.

Total equity production in Q1 2019 was 2,178 million barrels of oil per day (Mboe/day), an increase from Q4 2018’s production of 2,170 Mboe/day and at the same level as Q1 2018’s production.

Equinor president and CEO Eldar Sætre said: “In a quarter with lower commodity prices, we deliver higher after-tax results than in the same period last year.

“Our cash flow from operating activities was strong at $6.5bn in the quarter, and we have reduced our net debt ratio to 19.4%.

“We maintain high production, continue with strong cost focus and strict capital discipline, and we are on track to deliver on our guidance from our Capital Markets Update in February.”

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According to Equinor, lower prices impacted the results for Q1 2019 despite consistently high levels of production. Administrative expenses per barrel and underlying operating costs also increased from Q1 2018 as a result of new fields coming on stream.

Adjusted exploration expenses in Q1 2019 were $0.27m, an increase from $0.24bn in Q1 2018 due to higher field development costs. As of Q1 2019, Equinor has completed 11 exploration wells, with four commercial discoveries.

Sætre said: “Johan Sverdrup will start production later this year, and our project developments are on track to deliver production growth towards 2025.

“So far this year, we have accessed attractive new acreage in Norway and Argentina, announced the investment decision for a new platform at the ACG field offshore Azerbaijan and had the official opening of the Arkona wind farm in Germany.”