The shares were sold to Lehman Brothers, a US global investment bank, following an international bid process, and are expected to be passed on to institutional investors in Norway and abroad.
In addition, up to 17.65 million shares will be made available for sale to private investors in the near future, at the rate set in the institutional sale.
As part of the sale, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has agreed not to sell any additional ordinary Statoil shares in the next 180 days.
The Storting (parliament) has previously authorized the government to reduce the state's interest in Statoil to two-thirds.
When Statoil was listed in June 2001, the state's holding was 81.7 percent. Following yesterday's sale, it now owns 77.1 percent.
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