Statoil Sells Agip a Percentage of Mikkel

Agip will buy 7.9 percent of the Mikkel development in the Norwegian Sea from Statoil, and has secured an option in the same deal to acquire 7.9 percent of the nearby Tyrihans discovery. Statoil, which operates both fields, has also concluded agreements with Agip and Fortum of Finland on the loan and sale of gas.

Mikkel is due to begin producing gas and condensate in the autumn of 2003, with this output being piped to Statoil's Asgard B platform for processing. "This sale marks an important step in aligning ownership interests in the Halten Bank area," says Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway. He adds that this realignment will ensure good commercial development and operation.

At the same time, Statoil, Agip and Fortum have settled an arbitration dispute relating to investment at the Karsto treatment complex north of Stavanger for handling gas from Asgard.