Statoil ASA (STO) is the national oil company of Norway, which holds a majority share in the company (67% in May 2010). Statoil generates revenue in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The company is the largest offshore operator in the world, and as such, the prospect of extracting petro-chemicals out of the ground is becoming increasingly more difficult. Its success in turning its reserves into bottom line profits will likely depend on drilling in very deep water, which is an expensive proposition. Statoil has also diversified its exploration to politically unstable areas, where the benefits of discovering large reserves are tempered by the risk of instability.
What makes both geographic expansion and deepwater drilling financially enticing is the increasing appetite for energy throughout the world, especially in rapidly growing economies such as China, where growing demand has bolstered high oil prices.
As with most traditional fossil fuel companies, the prospects of alternative energy sources such as biofuels, nuclear, solar, wind and even clean coal will be a long-term threat to the company's business. Fundamentally higher oil prices will enable alternative energy technologies to become more affordable.
Statoil is involved with all stages of oil and natural gas production, including exploration, drilling, refining, and marketing. It also owns and operates 1,803 Statoil-branded service stations in eight counties, primarily in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. æø
Statoil is involved in every stage of production of oil and gas. It is primarily focused in the Norwegian Continental Shelf and accounts for 60% of Norway's oil and natural gas production. However, Statoil has increased its exploration in foreign international reserves, bringing it into direct competition with the global supermajors who have more resources, expertise, economies of scale, and capital than Statoil.
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