On Monday, the French oil and gas company Total stated that it had agreed on the sale of two Norwegian oilfields for $1.45 billion to Statoil. Statoil will acquire a 51 percent position in the Martin Linge field and a 40 percent position in the Garantiana discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
“The forthcoming acquisition of Maersk Oil… leads us to review our portfolio in this area so as to focus on the assets in which Total will be able to generate synergies and reduce their break-even points,” said Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s head of exploration and production.
Although Norway remains one of the largest contributors to the company’s output, it intends to now concentrate on its non-operated assets such as Ekofisk, Snohvit and Johan Sverdrup fields. Total’s trails the new trend amid foreign oil majors such as BP and Exxon Mobil becoming junior partners in Norwegian fields to focus on exploration and field management in less developed regions. Last month, Hess announced the sale of its Norwegian assets altogether
Total stated that there was limited space for the company to improve operations in the Martin Linge field, which was its only working asset in Norway and that Statoil was in a better position to boost production of the field. The estimated recoverable resources surpass 300 million barrels oil equivalent. The Martin Linge development has been afflicted with interruptions and cost overruns, the latest investment estimate forecast was 41.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($5.1 billion), 42 percent more than what was originally projected. Production is anticipated to begin in 2019, a one-year delay after a fatal accident in May at a yard constructing the platform for the field which raised the cost of the project.
Total is also the chief investor in the Garantiana discovery, which is under development.
Total’s shares fell 0.5 percent by 0839 GMT and Statoil was down 0.54 percent.
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