First Girassol oil sold

January 15, 2002, 14:00 CET

Statoil has sold its first load of crude – one million barrels – from the TotalFinaElf-operated Girassol field off the coast of Angola.

The oil, which will be lifted in February, was sold by the group’s traders in London. For commercial reasons the name of the purchaser is not being made public.

Statoil has a 13.33 per cent stake in the field, which came on stream on 4 December 2001.

Prior to the sale Statoil carried out a thorough analysis of the oil quality and the potential markets. The Girassol oil has low sulphur content and is similar to North Sea oil. The group will achieve one load about every 40 days and marketing will take place from London. Statoil will also market Norsk Hydro’s Girassol oil. Hydro has a 10 per cent interest in the field.

“The sale of our first oil from Girassol is a milestone, since it is Statoil’s first own production in the important oil province of western Africa,” reports Gunnar Sletvold, vice president for crude sales in Statoil’s oil trading and supply (O&S) unit.

The markets in Asia, America and Europe are relatively close to Africa.

Girassol is currently producing around 120,000 barrels of oil from six wells. Of this, Statoil’s share amounts to about 15,000 barrels, which will increase to around 26,000 barrels when production reaches plateau output from the middle of 2002. The field will than supply about 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Girassol oil is an important contribution to Statoil’s international production, adds Mr Sletvold.