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New operatorship in Venezuela

February 8, 2003, 17:30 CET

The operatorship for block 4 in the Plataforma Deltana area off eastern Venezuela has been awarded to Statoil.

Covering about 1,435 square kilometres, this acreage lies in 200-800 metres of water.

Statoil submitted a winning bid for the block in December, with a signature bonus of USD 32 million.

It has committed to drilling three exploration wells at an estimated cost of USD 60 million over the next four years to define the resource potential of the area.

“We’ve worked closely over many years with Venezuela’s Ministry of Energy and Mining, state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela and a wide range of supply and service companies,” says Richard Hubbard, executive vice president for the International Exploration & Production business area.

“We’re looking forward to continuing these relationships as we move ahead together on Plataforma Deltana.

“With our joint success, this project can make a significant contribution to Venezuela’s offshore industry development.”

Statoil currently has interests in two Venezuelan production licences – 15 per cent of the Sincor heavy crude project in the Orinoco Belt and 27 per cent of the LL 652 oil field in Lake Maracaibo.

The Plataforma Deltana assignment is the second international operatorship secured by Statoil in recent months.

It follows the award of offshore responsibility for development phases six-eight on Iran’s South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.