Swapping stakes with ExxonMobil

January 17, 2002, 03:30 CET

Statoil and ExxonMobil have exchanged interests in licences on the Norwegian continental shelf.

On 1 January Statoil took over operatorship and a 20 per cent stake in the so-called F-prospect of the Barents Sea from ExxonMobil. The area, which lies 150 kilometres east of the Statoil-operated Snøhvit field, consists of three exploration licences.

“The transaction will strengthen Statoil’s position in the Barents Sea, where there is potential for major oil and gas finds,” reports exploration vice president Yngve Vassmyr. "If the F-prospect is shown to contain gas, this could also contribute to the development of the Snøhvit field."

Statoil has also received an 11.1 per cent share in an exploration licence in block 33/12 (production licence 152) on Tampen in the North Sea. Tampen is one of the group’s core areas on the Norwegian continental shelf and is also the home of the Statfjord and Gullfaks fields.

Statoil will have a 100 per cent stake in PL 152 when the exchange is completed.

In return, ExxonMobil has received a three per cent stake in an exploration area near the Norsk Hydro operated Grane field in the south of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Statoil sold itself out of the Grane field last year, but kept 15 per cent of the exploration part of production licence 169. Following the exchange Statoil’s share is 12 per cent.

ExxonMobil is heavily involved in the Grane, Jotun, Balder and Ringhorn fields in this area.