Statoil Sells Minority Stakes in North Sea Fields While Exiting the Shetlands

Statoil (NYSE: STO  ) , the Norwegian state-controlled oil and gas exploration and development company, sold minority interests in two North Sea oil fields to Austrian oil and gas company OMV for $2.65 billion in cash, Statoil announced today.

"Through this transaction, Statoil captures value created through asset development and unlocks capital for investment in high return projects in core areas This includes our recent discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf," said Helge Lund, Statoil's CEO, in the company's statement.

Statoil will retain control and "operatorship" with a 51% share of both the Gullfaks and Gudrun fields off the Norwegian coast.

Upon closing of the deal, which is expected at the end of 2013, OMV will hold 19% of Gulfaks, and Petoro, the licensee for Norway's interest in production licenses, fields, pipelines, and land-based plants, will control the remaining 30%. OMV will hold 24% of the Gudrun field, with French natural gas supplier GDF Suez (NASDAQOTH: GDFZY  ) holding the remaining 25%.

In addition, Statoil is selling its 30% interest in the Schiehallion field and its 6% stake in the Rosebank field, which are west of the Shetlands.

Statoil said it expects to achieve a profit of between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion from the OMV transaction. It will also be able to pull $7 billion of capital expenditure from the Shetlands fields, allowing it to redeploy its assets. The company said it has realized approximately $15 billion through divestment since 2010.

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  • Report this Comment On August 20, 2013, at 8:53 AM, EllenBrandtPhD wrote:

    Dan, while Cramer and others may be perfectly correct about STO making another Bakken acquisition later this fall, one can pretty much guarantee that they will not be making one until after the Norwegian election on September 9th, now just three weeks away.

    This election is literally crucial to STO and determines how well the company and its stock will do for the rest of this year and beyond.

    If - as widely expected - the challenger Conservatives-Christian Democrats-Progressives coalition defeats the incumbent Socialists in a landslide, they will have the mandate to slash corporate taxes, including - or especially - STO's, while ushering in a much more business-friendly environment than has prevailed in Norway for perhaps 50 years.

    Erna Solberg has also promised to spin off another 25 percent of the government's current 3/4 stake in STO and get a "very good price" for these shares, which most have interpreted to mean over $30 US.

    Note that this target becomes easier as the Norwegian Krone (NOK) gets stronger, already beginning to happen, as a Solberg victory becomes more likely.

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