Statoil Buys Stake in Alfa Sentral Gas Field License on UKCS

Norwegian energy major Statoil ASA announced Friday that it has paid $15 million to First Oil for a 24-percent stake in the UK license containing the Alfa Sentral gas and condensate field.

Alfa Sentral contains an estimated 60 million barrels of oil equivalent and will be developed as a tie-back to Statoil's Sleipner field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Sleipner area is the second-largest gas development in the North Sea, having produced around 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent since 1993.

The Alfa Sentral tie-back will see the utilization of the Sleipner facilities increased, while it is also in line with Statoil's cost-efficient fast-track development strategy in which standardized solutions that involve existing infrastructure are used rather than constructing pipelines and other facilities from scratch.

Mette Halvorsen Ottøy, senior vice president for the operations south cluster in Development & Production Norway, commented in a company statement:

"Statoil has set ambitious goals for future activity, production and value creation. This transaction demonstrates the potential on both the UK and Norwegian side of the Continental Shelf. The acquisition of this Alfa Sentral license increases the resource base and strengthens our efforts to further develop the Sleipner area towards 2030."

The transaction sees Statoil take a 24-percent interest in UK Continental Shelf license P312 which, along with the PL046 license on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, comprises the Alfa Sentral field. Statoil holds a 62-percent stake in PL046.

As a result, Statoil has increased its equity holding in what it describes as a "high priority project in a core area", deepening its presence on both the NCS and UKCS. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2015.

Concept selection for the Alfa Sentral project was passed in September 2015. Negotiations to unitize the field will commence shortly, the firm said. A final investment decision is planned for late 2016 with production start-up in 2020.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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