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Wanting out of Vietnam

March 9, 2001, 13:45 CET

Statoil has informed its partners and the authorities in Vietnam that the group is considering selling its operations in the country.

Statoil has invested in the Nam Con Son project since June 2000. This embraces development of the Lan Tay and Lan Do gas and condensate fields, a gas pipeline to land and a gas receiving station. All of the main agreements for development have been signed by the Vietnamese authorities.

Tor Jan Thorvaldsen is in charge of preparations for a possible sale of Statoil's licence rights. He says that several companies have recently asked Statoil whether they can take over the group's position there.

Plans call for the Lan Tay field to start production in the fourth quarter of 2002. Statoil's share in block 06.1, which includes the Lan Tay and Lan Do fields, is 13.33 per cent. The other partners are BP, state oil company Petro Vietnam and the Indian state oil company ONGC. The gas will be brought ashore south-east of Ho Chi Minh City. Statoil has a 16.33 interest in the pipeline. The other partners are BP and Petro Vietnam.

Selling assets is in line with Statoil's upstream strategy, which entails strengthening the group's position in core areas where Statoil is, or may become operator. Statoil defines western Europe, Venezuela, the Caspian region and western Africa as such areas.