Statoil Pares Production Forecast

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Statoil, Norway's largest oil company, lowered its 2011 and 2012 oil and natural gas production targets due to issues at several key fields. The company is forecasting a compound annual production growth rate of 3%, which equals 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to the Financial Times.

The company previously issued a forecast of 2.06 million to 2.16 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Statoil (STO) said it is looking to ramp up its exploration activity this year and added that it hopes to start production from a field in Brazil by the end of the current quarter.

The company is aiming to complete 40 wells this year. Organic capital costs for 2011, however, are expected to reach around $16 billion, according to the Associated Press. Statoil remains positive on its outlook for the Norwegian Continental Shelf where it is the dominant producer, saying it expects stable production there over the next decade.

On Wednesday, the company reported a 33% increase in fourth-quarter profits, attributing higher oil prices and increased demand as reasons for the profit jump. Statoil's 2010 full-year profit more than doubled.