Licence carve-out in Norwegian Sea

December 19, 2003, 08:50 CET

Statoil and the other licensees in BP-operated production licence 261 west of the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea have resolved to carve out part of this acreage.

Plans call for ChevronTexaco to acquire a 65 per cent holding in a separate new licence, which will be designated PL 261B. The US company will also be operator.

After the transaction with ChevronTexaco, Statoil will have a seven per cent interest in PL 261B. It is also acquiring three per cent from BP to give a total holding of 10 per cent.

RWE Dea has bought 4.5 per cent of the new licence from BP to achieve a 15 per cent interest. BP will be left with a 10 per cent holding.

These transactions are conditional on approval by the Norwegian authorities.

The partners in PL 261B plan to drill an exploration well on this acreage next year.

“We want to see active exploration and production in the Norwegian Sea,” says Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration manager for Statoil’s Halten/Nordland business cluster.

“The exploration model in this case is high-risk, and we’ve therefore recruited an extra participant. In return, ChevronTexaco has undertaken to drill the well.”

Interests in the existing PL 261 licence remain unchanged, with BP holding 50 per cent, RWE Dea 30 per cent and Statoil 20 per cent.