Statoil and Wintershall in $1.45bn asset deal

Partnership: Statoil and Wintershall have entered a $1.45 billion involving a number of assets changing hands on the Norwegian Continental Shelf

Deal will see Wintershall take Statoil's operated stake in the Brage licence as well as shares in Gjoa and Vega

Norwegian company Statoil has sold off its interest in the Brage licence, while also farming down its interest in two licences and gaining a stake in another in the North Sea, as part of a $1.45 billion deal with Germany’s Wintershall.

Under the asset swap Wintershall will take Statoil’s 32.7% operated stake in the Brage oilfield as well as a 15% interest in the Gjoa licence and 30% share in the Vega licence.

Following the completion of the deal, Statoil will continue to hold a 5% and 24% interest in Gjoa and Vega respectively.

In exchange Statoil will receive a 15% share in the Edvard Grieg development project from Wintershall and financial compensation of $1.35 billion.

An additional payment of up $100 million will also be paid by the German company dependent on the successful future development of the Vega field.

Statoil said its entry into the Edvard Grieg licence, which was formerly known as Luno, would consolidate its position as the largest player on the Utsira High.

“The Norwegian continental shelf is a world class oil and gas region and with a giant discovery like Johan Sverdrup, the Utsira High has proved to be one of its most prospective areas,” Statoil’s executive vice president for Development & Production Norway, Oystein Michelsen, said in a statement on Monday.

“Adding Edvard Grieg to the portfolio further strengthens our industrial position for long-term value creation in this area. Developing  the Utsira High area will be one of the major undertakings for Statoil in decades to come.”

As part of the deal the two companies also signed a memorandum of understanding which will see them cooperate in projects and research into increased oil recovery.

Statoil said it had also agreed to cooperate in research on unconventional hydrocarbon deposits with Wintershall which will see receive a 49% share in the latter’s concessions Rhineland and Ruhr in Germany.

In a separate statement on Monday Wintershall said its deal with Statoil would raise its current output levels from about 3000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to almost 40,000 boepd by next year.

“With our ambition to become the new operator of Brage, we are making headway in expanding Wintershall-operated production in Norway,” chairman of Wintershall's board of executive directors, Rainer Seele, said. 

“We want to be active on the shelf in the long-term, establish ourselves as a partner – and take on responsibility.”

Brage will be Wintershall’s first producing operatorship in Norway, with the company already operating 25 platforms in the southern North Sea, off the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

The effective date of the transaction with Statoil, which is still subject to government approval, will be 1 January 2013 and is expected to close in the second half of next year.

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