Statoil Strengthens Position in Norwegian Sea

Statoil is buying BP's 25 percent interest in license 218 in blocks 6706/10 and 6706/12 in the Norwegian Sea. This acquisition includes the Luva gas find. BP recommends Statoil as new operator of the license.

The agreement, which was signed on March 8th, means that Statoil will have a 75 percent interest in the license following this transaction. The other licensees are ExxonMobil with 15 percent and ConocoPhillips with 10 percent.

Several finds have been made in this area, including a substantial discovery in Luva in 1997.

"Statoil wants to strengthen its position in deep water in the Norwegian Sea," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. "This area is expected to be an important area for gas in the future."

Through this transaction, Statoil is strengthening its position in terms of future export solutions for gas from this region.

Mr. Dodson adds that, as a step in the development of the Luva find, it will be necessary to drill a new exploration well on an attractive prospect nearby. Plans call for the well to be drilled as early as 2007/2008.

The Luva field is located about 240 kilometers west of Bodo. The license was awarded in 1996.

The water depth in the area is around 1,300 meters, and the reservoir is 2,800 meters beneath the seabed. Recoverable reserves in the field are put at some 38 billion cubic meters of gas.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

The agreement is conditional on approval by the authorities.

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