Strengthened Norwegian Sea position

April 25, 2007, 15:00 CEST

Statoil has taken over parts of Shell's interests in Norwegian Sea exploration licences.

Operator Statoil has signed agreements with Shell regarding the takeover of Shell's interest in production licence 281 Midnattssol in the Norwegian Sea from 1 January 2007.

At the same time, operator Statoil takes over 2.5% of Shell's 10% interest in production licence 328 Obelix in the North Sea's Vøring Basin. Statoil will now have a 42.5% interest in the Obelix licence.

"This strengthens our Norwegian Sea position, which is an important area to us," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN).

"We've already made several interesting finds and have great faith in the area."

Statoil has a 50% interest in the Midnattssol licence following the transaction. One exploration well, named Elida, has already been drilled in the licence. The result from this well was interpreted as encouraging for further exploration. Plans call for well number two to be drilled in May/June 2007.

Other licensees are E.ON Ruhrgas with 20%, Petoro (20%) and ConocoPhillips (10%).

Statoil is operator for the I Obelix licence. Other licensees are Shell with 7.5%, Petoro (20%) and Gaz de France (30%).

The transactions are dependent on regulatory approval.