EARNINGS : Norwegian Oil Profits Double

From Times Wire Services

Norway's biggest company, state oil firm Statoil, today reported doubled profits in the first half of 1990 compared to the same period a year ago and predicted a strong second half due to rising oil prices.

Statoil posted an $894.6-million profit before extraordinary items, up from $452.2 million.

"With a crude oil price level of $20 to $23 per barrel, the result for the second half is expected to be in line with or somewhat better than in the first half of 1990," Statoil said, adding that it expected output to increase.

But Statoil said oil prices for the next six months are very uncertain due to the current situation in the Persian Gulf.

In the first half this year, Brent Blend averaged $17.90 a barrel.

Fields operated by Statoil make up around 1 million barrels of oil per day of Norway's total oil production, which normally averages 1.7 million barrels a day.

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