Statoil has signed an agreement to farm down a 15% interest to WRG Angola Block 39 Limited (“WRG”) in the Statoil-operated block 39 offshore Angola in the Kwanza pre-salt basin. WRG is a 50/50 joint venture comprising White Rose Energy Ventures and Genel Energy plc.
“This is part of Statoil’s active portfolio management. The farm-down reflects the attractiveness of Statoil’s acreage in Angola and having WRG onboard allows us to share exploration risk, while retaining a significant working interest. WRG brings technical experience to a challenging geological setting, and we look forward to a productive relationship with them in Angola,” says Gareth Burns, senior vice president for exploration strategy and business development in Statoil.
Statoil operates block 39 and retains a 40% interest after the farm down. The remaining 30% interest is held by Sonangol P&P, 15% interest by Total and 15% interest by WRG.
WRG has also acquired from China Sonangol International Holdings Limited its 15% interest in the Statoil-operated block 38. Following the acquisition Statoil’s 55% interest remains unchanged. The remaining 30% interest is held by Sonangol P&P and 15% interest by WRG.
The deals are subject to approval by Sonangol E&P, the Angolan minister of petroleum and the licence partners.
In addition to the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39, Statoil is partner in blocks 22, 25 and 40 in the Kwanza basin. The blocks were awarded by Sonangol in December 2011.
Tony Hayward, Chief Executive of Genel, said: “This transaction provides a rare opportunity to enter into a low risk, multi-billion barrel resource play. It fits with our stated strategy of securing high quality exploration opportunities targeting very material resources, and further enhances the opportunity to add significant shareholder value through the drill bit in Africa.
Partnering with White Rose offers us a unique opportunity to secure a material interest in the exciting pre-salt play whilst managing our financial exposure to a level appropriate for a company of our size. White Rose brings significant directly relevant technical experience which together with Statoil, a first-class operator with longstanding regional knowledge and relationships, establishes a strong and exciting partnership with which to establish an entry position in Angola.”
Statoil with Total and BP completed the world’s largest 3D survey across the licenses covering blocks 24, 25, 40, 38 and 39 in January 2013. The survey covered 26,300 square kilometres.
The partnership in the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39 is now well advanced with the in-house processing of seismic data and the prospect evaluation for the future drilling programme.
Statoil will start drilling in its Kwanza-operated portfolio during the second quarter of 2014. Dilolo-1 is the first high-impact prospect to be drilled in block 39. The Stena Carron drillship has been contracted for the drilling programme.
Following the drilling of Dilolo, Statoil will operate its second commitment well in Block 38 to the north of Block 39. In the next two to three years, Statoil will in total participate in eight commitment wells in the Kwanza basin.
Statoil is also partner and has shares in blocks 4/05, 15, 15/06, 17 and 31 in the Congo Basin offshore Angola.
“The Angolan continental shelf is the largest contributor to our oil production outside Norway and a key building block in our international strategy. Angola yielded approximately 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in equity production in 2013, which is around 28% of our total international oil and gas output,” says Steinar Pollen, Statoil’s country manager in Angola.