Statoil Claims 15 Gulf of Mexico Oil Leases

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Norwegian oil giant Statoil (NYSE: STO  )  has won 15 oil exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico in an auction held by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The total amount bid for these leases was not confirmed, but Statoil reportedly bid $81.8 million (in cooperation with Samsung Offshore) to win one single lease on its top-priority lease, known as "Walker Ridge 271." And the total sum of all winning bids by all oil companies competing for them reportedly reached $1.2 billion.

Statoil noted in a statement that with today's winning bids -- assuming they are confirmed by BOEM -- it now controls more than 340 oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The company plans to drill two to three wells within the next 12 months in Gulf oil fields where it acts as project operator. Statoil will participate in another one or two wells operated by its corporate partners.

Statoil shares declined 0.3% in Wednesday trading despite the news of its success, closing at $24.20.


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Rich Smith

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