Statoil increases stake in Barents Sea discovery

Norwegian oil firm Statoil is increasing its share in OMV’s Barents Sea oil discovery – the Wisting.

Statoil is acquiring an increased Wisting share through the acquisition of Tullow Oil’s ownership in four blocks offshore Norway. Wisting is located in PL537 in the Barents Sea.

“This transaction reflects our strong belief in the exploration potential on the Norwegian continental shelf and our commitment to create value in the Barents Sea,” says Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and UK.

Through this transaction Statoil becomes the biggest equity holder in the Wisting discovery with a 35% stake, so far the only big discovery in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea. OMV as the operator holds 25%.

Statoil also increased its interest from 20% to 55% in block PL855, from 20% to 40% in PL843, and acquired a 40% interest in PL695.

“We wish to contribute with our experience, competence and technology to ensure an efficient and profitable development of the Wisting-discovery. Statoil has developed new technologies such as the Cap-X subsea concept and promoted industry cooperation through the Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration (BaSEC) in order to deliver safe and efficient operations,” says Averty.

New, substantial discoveries are required to maintain the production on the NCS, and resource additions from Northern Norway are central in reaching this target. The NPD estimates the Wisting discovery to contain 241 million boe of recoverable resources.

The agreement also gives access to interesting exploration prospects in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea that will be matured for possible drilling in 2018, Statoil said. The transaction is contingent upon approval of the authorities.

To remind, Austrian oil company OMV, the operator of the Wisting discovery, has been studying development concepts for the field. The company on Wednesday awarded Sevan Marine a study to evaluate its cylindrical hull design for application on the Wisting field development.

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