(c) 2013, Bloomberg News.

(c) 2013, Bloomberg News.

OSLO, Norway Statoil, Norway's biggest energy company, said profit climbed 2 percent in the third quarter as oil production increased and its international output reached a record.

Adjusted net income, which excludes financial items, rose to 12.1 billion kroner ($2.1 billion) from 11.9 billion kroner a year earlier, the Stavanger-based company said in a statement Wednesday. That beat the 11.9 billion kroner average of 20 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Net income fell to 14.3 billion kroner from 14.4 billion kroner.

"We're producing as planned, and maintain our production guidance for 2013," Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said in the statement. "Our activity level is high. We're progressing our projects according to plan, with good cost control and capital discipline."

Statoil, which is 67 percent-owned by the Norwegian state, is expanding abroad to compensate for dwindling reserves in the North Sea. The company reiterated its goal of growing production by a quarter to more than 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2020, with the U.S. expected to contribute more than half of that increase.

Third-quarter output rose to 1.852 million barrels of oil equivalent a day from 1.811 million barrels a year earlier, beating the 1.844 million-barrel average of 28 estimates compiled by Statoil. Output outside Norway rose 13 percent to a record 728,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

Statoil has said output will fall in 2013 from an average of 2.004 million barrels of oil equivalent a day last year because of the sale of Norwegian offshore assets, lower than anticipated growth in U.S. shale-gas production, reduced Norwegian gas sales to Europe as well as maintenance work.

The company's capacity has also been reduced following a January terrorist attack on the In Amenas facility in Algeria.

Production is then expected to increase in 2014, resulting in an average annual growth of 2 percent to 3 percent from 2012 to 2016, and 3 percent to 4 percent a year from 2016 to 2020.

Statoil earned an average $102.9 a barrel for oil in the quarter, up from $99.9 a year earlier, and 1.97 kroner a cubic meter for natural gas, down from 2.16 kroner. The price for Brent oil averaged $109.7 a barrel in the third quarter, compared with $109.2 a year earlier.

The Norwegian company repeated that it will maintain spending at about $19 billion in 2013, of which $3.75 billion will be spent on exploration. Statoil said last month it's the most successful explorer in the world so far this year in terms of so-called conventional resources, with a total of more than 850 million barrels of oil equivalent discovered.

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