Statoil Farms Down Three and Exits Five Assets on NCS for USD 1,625 Billion

Statoil ASA has decided to farm down three and exit five assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) for the consideration of USD 1.625 billion.

The buyer is Centrica, a UK based energy company and established NCS player.

The transaction strengthens our capacity to further focus on value creating growth on the NCS, one of the world’s most attractive oil and gas regions. The Skrugard discovery in the Barents Sea and the giant North Sea find Aldous/Avaldsnes demonstrate the substantial organic growth potential on the NCS.

“The transaction also confirms the value of NCS assets, and how we create value by concentrating our efforts on the NCS“, says Statoil Executive Vice President for Development and Production Norway, Øystein Michelsen.

The NCS portfolio is core to Statoil and crucial to the company’s value creation. Portfolio management is a key focus area in Statoil’s re-stated strategy and the NCS has been put forth as a region where such efforts may create value. Recent exploration successes on the NCS will lead to new developments and growth that require prioritisation in terms of competence and capacity.

As well as being the second largest gas producer in the UK, we also have one of the fastest growing exploration and production businesses on the Norwegian continental shelf. This transaction is an important further step in building the business and deploys capital to deliver value. Much of the gas acquired through this transaction will also come to the UK market, providing further energy security for British Gas customers long into the future,” says Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive, Centrica

 Strategic portfolio management

Over the last years we have undertaken a series of divestments and joint ventures to position Statoil as a well-capitalised, technology focused, upstream company”, says John Knight, Executive Vice President for Global Strategy and Business Development in Statoil.

Recent portfolio opmisisation includes farming down in Canadian oil sands and the Brazilian Peregrino oil field, listing of the fuel and retail business and the divestment of a substantial share of its ownership in Gassled, the Norwegian pipeline system.

Through active portfolio management Statoil has realised substantial value and further strengthened the company’s growth potential over the last 18 months. The transaction with Centrica demonstrates the industrial value of our NCS gas business and is part of the same deliberate pattern of active portfolio management to enhance shareholder value” , said Knight.

 The transaction

The transaction includes partial divestment or full exit from the following areas:

Kvitebjørn / Valemon Area is a significant gas production/development hub in Norway. Statoil will remain the operator of both fields.

Heimdal Area Statoil will retain operatorship in Heimdal, but exit from Vale, Frigg Gamma Delta and Fulla.

• Heimdal is a key gas export hub in the Norwegian gas system with connections to the UK and to the Continental European gas markets.

• Vale and Skirne fall outside Statoil’s strategic focus

• The early phase Fulla and Frigg Gamma Delta discoveries require significant focus and resources in order to commercialize them fully and are better suited being held by a regionally focussed operator.

The transaction will have very limited impact on Statoil personnel. No redundancies will come as an effect.

The effective date of the transaction is 1st January 2012 and the consideration to be paid by Centrica is a post-tax amount of USD 1.625 billion, including a contingent consideration of USD 100 mil. The transaction is pending government approvals. Lambert Energy Advisory Ltd were sole advisors to Statoil on this process.

An investor and analyst conference call will be held at 9.30 CET with CFO Torgim Reitan, EVP for Global Strategy and business development John Knight, and EVP for Development and production Norway, Øystein Michelsen.

Offshore Nieuws Staff, November 21, 2011; Image: Statoil

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