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Licence holdings sold

October 24, 2000, 15:45 CEST

Interests worth NOK 2.1 billion have been sold by Statoil in six fields outside its defined core areas on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Resulting from a strategy process in Exploration & Production Norway (UPN) last year, these disposals help to reach the group's objective of reducing capital employed by 20-25 per cent before the end of 2001.

"The sales increase our financial freedom of action and improve our balance sheet," says Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for UPN.

"In addition, they undoubtedly represent a step towards concentrating resources in our core areas of the NCS."

He adds that the deals also strengthen the position of the buyers in these waters.

Statoil has sold its 20 per cent of Njord in the Norwegian Sea and 12 per cent of its 35 per cent of Snøhvit in the Barents Sea to Gaz de France.

Providing the Norwegian authorities approve this transaction, it makes the French company a new player on the NCS.

And the Snøhvit gas field operated by Statoil is acquiring a strategic partner able to contribute expertise on liquefied natural gas to a possible development.

In the North Sea, Conoco has acquired the group's 6.4 per cent holding in Grane while Det Norske Oljeselskap is taking over its two per cent interest in Jotun.

Statoil has also sold its interest in Tommeliten, together with the operatorship, to Phillips Petroleum. Dansk Olie og Naturgas (Dong) has bought the 20 per cent holding in Freja.

These transactions all come into effect on 1 January, subject to the approval of the Norwegian authorities.

Statoil has resolved to retain its holdings in Ekofisk and Brage, which had also been offered for sale.

See also the press release.