Statoil transferred operatorship of the Vilje field in the North Sea to Marathon Oil Norge.
The agreement does not involve any change of stakes in the production license (PL 036D).
"Statoil is interested in good area solutions. We therefore find it natural that Marathon, as the biggest operator in the area, gets to optimize the values for the licensees," said Jannicke Nilsson, Statoil's head of operations North Sea West.
Thanks to this transfer of operatorship a rig that was planned to be used for the Vilje South development will be available for other Statoil drilling jobs.
Portfolio management is a priority area in Statoil's strategy, and the Norwegian continental shelf emerges as an area where such focus may add value.
In recent years Statoil has carried out several transactions and signed joint venture agreements to position Statoil as a financially robust, technology-focused upstream company.
This includes the agreement to sell assets to Centrica, the acquisition of Hess' stake in the Snøhvit field, and the purchase and sales agreement with Total on the Valemon and Hild fields, which are under development.
The agreement with Marathon takes effect on September 1, 2012 subject to the approval of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
The Vilje development includes two subsea wells tied in to the Alvheim production vessel. The field is located some 12 miles (20 kilometers) north-east of the Marathon-operated Alvheim field.
Coming on stream on August 1, 2008 Vilje is expected to produce 21,000 barrels of oil per day in 2012.
An investment decision for Vilje South development has been made in the license. First oil is expected at the end of 2013.
The licensees in PL 036D are Marathon Oil Norge AS (46.90 percent interest), Statoil Petroleum AS (28.85 percent) and Total E&P Norge AS (24.24 percent).
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