North Sea interests acquired

April 24, 2003, 15:40 CEST

Interests in two Norwegian North Sea licences have been acquired by Statoil through a deal with Enterprise Oil Norge, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norske Shell.

This transaction means that the group will acquire a 50 per cent holding in production licences 001B and 028B.

These cover blocks 16/1 and 25/10 about 25 kilometres south-west of Norsk Hydro’s Grane field. Esso holds the other 50 per cent of the two licences.

”They represent an interesting exploration area for us in connection with our drilling plans on block 16/1 in PL 167,” says Øyvind Dahl Stamnes, new area exploration manager in the North Sea.

”Results from this programme, due to be pursued during the summer, will be decisive for continued activity in the new licences we’re farming into.”

A small oil and gas discovery was made in PL 028B in 1997 and given the name Hanz.

The transaction is conditional on approval by the Norwegian authorities.