The deals will increase Shell's share of the European gas supply market and provide access to important new development opportunities in Norway, whilst rationalizing its portfolio in the country.
Under the agreements, Shell will acquire from Statoil a 6.45% shareholding in the Kvitebjoern field and the Kvitebjoern Oil Pipeline. Kvitebjoern, a high pressure high termperature gas condensate field, started production in September 2004 and is producing 20 million standard cubic meters of gas and 62,000 barrels of condensate per day at plateau. The production license also contains the Valemon discovery that was declared commercial in 2004.
Shell will divest to Statoil its minority interests in four Production Licenses, and the Norne Gas Transport System. The blocks contain the mature Norne oil field, the Stær/Svale development, and the Alve, Falk and Linerle discoveries. Shell will also divest its minority interest (1.18%) in the Snorre oil field in the northern North Sea.
The swap is subject to approval from the Ministry of Oil and Energy. Statoil operates all of the assets included in the swap.
Tore Holm, Director of Shell E&P in Norway said: "We are pleased with this swap, which provides Shell with access to more integrated gas, increases Shell's share in the European gas supply market and exchanges two mature North Sea fields for a new development expected to produce large quantities of gas and condensate over the coming years. We also look forward to continued cooperation with Statoil as operator of the Kvitebjoern field and to contributing our skills."
Shell and Statoil have also agreed that, subject to government approval, Shell will farm-in 10% to three Statoil-operated deepwater licenses - Production License (PL) 251, PL 322, and PL 327. Firm exploration wells are planned for 2005 in PL 251 and PL 322.
Christian Bukovics, Shell's Stavanger-based exploration manager for the Northwest European Atlantic Margin, commented: "Thanks to the opening of large new areas the pace of exploration for material prospects offshore Mid-Norway is picking up. I am delighted that Shell will be able to work with Statoil on such an exciting exploration program in 2005."
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