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Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA says its first-quarter profits more than doubled, with increased production and rising oil prices offsetting a weak natural gas market.

Statoil said Wednesday that net profit for the January through March period jumped to 11.1 billion kroner ($1.84 billion) from 4 billion kroner in 2009. Quarterly revenue rose to 129 billion kroner from 113 billion kroner a year earlier.

The Stavanger-based group says a 48 percent increase in oil prices and higher oil and natural gas output offset a drop of 35 percent in natural gas prices.

Statoil is the main oil producer on the Norwegian continental shelf, and has about 30,000 employees in more than 40 countries.


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