It has admittedly been a rocky first half to the year in the stock market for us. Not always that much fun to be head of IR in such times, however I think our story is strong and sticks out amongst other integrated and large cap e&p companies.
We are in an investment cycle with large project developments amongst them building a large presence (and in fact a large oil company) in North America going from less than 100 000 boed production in 2011 to more than 500 000 boed in 2020. We are currently producing more than 200 000 boed in North America so we are well underway to reach this ambitious milestone in 2020.
When I talk to the large institutional investors they point to this growth and not the least the growth in North America and our successful exploration program as differentiators when they compare us to peers, they also highlight our growing dividend and commitment to further grow the dividend as strong points. They also highlight our strong balance sheet with low leverage and solid credit rating to be positive points.
Their main concern is cash flow growth to fund the capex and dividend going forward. Our response to this concern is that we have a track record of delivering our projects on cost and time, we have increased our dividend and have made valuable divestments in the past and indicate that portfolio adjustments through divestments will continue to form an important part of our strategy to grow the company going forward.
We have taken steps to ensure flexibility in our investment program going forward to ensure that we develop the most valuable projects (low break even) in the uncertain economic times we still are in but at the same time maintain focused on the longer term strategy The latter through our ambitious and successful exploration program ensuring that we are well positioned in our core exploration areas (Norway, Gulf of Mexico, Canada, East and West Africa, Brazil) as well as in emerging plays i.e. the Barents sea, Russian Arctic