While Statoil’s declaration was not unexpected following the recent announcements by BP, Shell and Exxon Mobile, the size of the increase did gain special attention as it outstripped its rivals’ achievements.

Pre-tax profit at the Scandinavian industrial giant increased to 21.06 billion Norwegian crowns ($3.23 billion) in the quarter from 14.08 billion crowns in the second quarter of 2004. However, as with a number of its rivals, Statoil still fell short of city expectations despite its big increase in profits. According to Reuters, the average forecast for Statoil’s quarterly pre-tax profits was 21.65 billion crowns.

As a result of the Nordic energy company’s failure to match expectations, its shares were unmoved putting it largely in line with its main rivals who also failed to growth share value despite growing profits.

Despite this, Statoil chief executive Helge Lund was upbeat in a statement: This has been another strong quarter for Statoil, with our best-ever result from operations. The improved result is mainly due to higher oil and gas prices, increased international production and good regularity in refining.