Norway: Statoil Increases Gudrun Stake

On 15 December Statoil signed an agreement with Marathon to acquire their 20% interest in the Gudrun project, and their 12.5% interest in the Eirin discovery in the Sleipner area.

Statoil increases its holding from 55% to 75% in production licences 025 and 187 in the North Sea. The licences cover the Gudrun field currently under development and the Sigrun and Brynhild discoveries. Statoil is also acquiring a 12.5% interest in the Eirin discovery in production licence 048E.

Øystein Michelsen, Statoil’s executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway (left) signing the agreement together with

Thomas Mitchell Little, managing director, Marathon Petroleum Norway. (Photo: Ivar Langvik)

Major development

Statoil has great expectations for the Gudrun project and anticipates considerable value creation from the field. The plan for development and operation was approved in May this year. Gudrun will be one of Statoil’s major field developments on the Norwegian continental shelf in the near future.

The acquisition of the shares will further strengthen Statoil’s position in the Gudrun project.

“We look forward to maturing the project up to production start together with our partner GDF Suez,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway (EPN).

Priority area

The area surrounding the Sleipner fields in the North Sea is important to Statoil.

“Greater Sleipner is an exciting and prospective area to us,” says Michelsen. “We will drill several exploration wells in the area, for example in production licence 303, which could add further resources in the axis between Gudrun and Sleipner.”

“We understand Marathon’s global priorities, but we regret that a constructive partner chooses to leave the Gudrun project,” says Michelsen. “At the same time it gives Statoil an opportunity to increase its share in a value-creating project which also secures future production.”

The purchase agreement will be subject to ordinary processing by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Source:  Statoil, December 16, 2010;

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