State sells shares in Statoil 

July 7, 2004, 09:30 CEST

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy sold 100 million shares in Statoil ASA yesterday evening, 6 July, through an off-exchange underwritten block sale. This represents 4.6 per cent of the shares in the company, and the Norwegian state is left with a holding of 77.1 per cent.

The shares were sold to Lehman Brothers, a US global investment bank, following an international bid process, and are expected to be passed on to institutional investors in Norway and abroad.

In addition, up to 17.65 million shares will be made available for sale to private investors in the near future, at the rate set in the institutional sale.

As part of the sale, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has agreed not to sell any additional ordinary Statoil shares in the next 180 days.

The Storting (parliament) has previously authorised the government to reduce the state's interest in Statoil to two-thirds.

When Statoil was listed in June 2001, the state's holding was 81.7 per cent. Following yesterday's sale, it now owns 77.1 per cent.

For further information, see the announcement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Contact persons:

Mari Thjømøe, vice president for investor relations, + 47 90 77 78 24 (mobile).

Thore E Kristiansen, vice president for investor relations, +47 91 66 46 59 (mobile).

Kjersti T Morstøl, public affairs manager, +47 51 99 26 71 (office) / +47 91 78 28 14 (mobile)