Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 07, 2020 • 05:30 am ET

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Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Welcome to the Equinor company update conference call. [Operator Instructions]

Today I am pleased to present Mr. Peter Hutton. Please begin.

Executive
Peter Hutton

Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Equinor Results call for the First quarter of 2020. This morning, we're running the call from Oslo, Stavanger and the U.K. So reflecting, to some extent, they're more remote working under present conditions. With me on the line, we have Lars Christian Bacher, CFO; Fine. The Head of Performance Management; and Orjan Kvelvane, Head of Accounting.

As normal, Lars Christian will introduce the results and presentation for 10 to 15 minutes, and then we will run a Q&A session, which instructions you have had in order to call for around 45 minutes. Thank you very much. And with that, I'm pleased to pass the line to Lars Christian.

Executive
Lars Christian Bacher

Thank you, Peter, and good morning, everyone, and welcome. I truly hope all is well with you and your families during these difficult times. Before I go into our quarterly reporting, I'd like to reflect shortly on the truly extraordinary times and how we are as a company are responding. We are being hit by two storms at the same time, coronavirus pandemic and a sharp fall in energy markets due to demand destruction, leading to an unprecedented oversupply. The corona pandemic and the forceful mitigating actions from governments impact societies and economies. As a global company, Equinor and our people are affected, albeit in different ways.

Those who can work from home, and travel is reduced to a trickle. On all our installations and facilities, we have introduced strong measures to reduce the risk of infection. In the last two months, Equinor has taken forceful actions to further strengthen our financial position. First, we suspended the buyback under the share buyback program until further notice. Second, we introduced an action plan to reduce spending by $3 billion before tax in 2020. Third, we issued bonds for $5 billion at attractive terms to be proactive given the uncertainty of financial markets. And finally, we reduced the first quarter dividend by 67% compared to the one proposed for the fourth quarter last year. This reduction reflects the current unprecedented market conditions and uncertainties.

These measures strengthen Equinor's liquidity and resilience and increases the flexibility and support of investing in a high-quality portfolio including renewables. Throughout this crisis, we will be guided by our values and stay committed to our strategy towards a low-carbon future. We all have seen the world responding in various ways to the pandemic. OPEC Plus has decided on significant cuts. And last week, the Norwegian government announced production cuts at the Norwegian Continental Shelf of 250,000 barrels per day in June, and 134,000 barrels per day for the second half of this year. The implementation of this on a field-by-field basis remains to be detailed out by the government.

The Norwegian government has also announced that they will put forward to the parliament a proposal on temporary changes in