Norway’s Statoil announced Friday that it has farmed down its stakes in the Aasta Hansteen, Asterix and Polarled assets, while exiting its “non-core” Vega and Gjøa fields in a transaction with Germany’s Wintershall. The deal also includes a farm down in four exploration licenses in the Vøring area.
As a result of the deal Statoil’s stake in Aasta Hansteen has moved from 75 percent to 51 percent, while its interest in the Asterix field has decreased from 70 percent to 51 percent. Its stake in Polarled had changed from 50.3 percent to 37.1 percent. Statoil remains the operator at all three fields.
The cash paid by Wintershall amounts to $1.25 billion, with a further $50 million being paid contingent on certain milestones being achieved at Aasta Hansteen.
Statoil President for Development and Production Norway Arne Sigve Nylund commented in a company statement:
“We realize significant value, created through successful asset development. The transaction increases our flexibility to further strengthen our portfolio.”
Statoil said the transaction will also release around $1.8 billion of capital expenditure for the period through to the end of 2020. “We have a strong portfolio of projects. This transaction focuses our NCS [Norwegian Continental Shelf] portfolio and further improves our capacity to invest in core areas,” Nylund added.
Statoil plans to invest approximately $20 billion annually between 2014 and 2016, which will include the NCS project Gudrun that started up in April of this year. Valemon will come on-stream towards the end of the year. The firm confirmed that its exploration activity remains high, with 50 exploration wells planned globally for 2014.