Statoil (NYSE:STO) inked a deal on Monday to sell its minority interests in certain oil fields and other new discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf for $2.6 billion, enabling it to redeploy that money in more high-revenue businesses.
The Norwegian oil and gas explorer said it is selling the assets, which includes minority interests in the Gullfaks and Gudrun fields offshore Norway and the Schiehallion and Rosebank fields, West of Shetlands, to Austrian oil and gas company OMV.
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As part of the deal, OMV, which has plays on both the Norwegian and U.K. continental shelves, will partner with Statoil in the potential exploration across Norway, the U.K. and the Faroese Islands. They will also jointly develop new oil recovery technologies.
"Through this transaction, Statoil captures value created through asset development and unlocks capital for investment in high return projects in core areas,” Statoil CEO Helge Lund said in a statement. “We continue to deliver on our strategy to create value through active portfolio management and to further increase our financial flexibility.”
The transaction, which reduces Statoil’s ownership share in Gullfaks to 51% from 70% and in Gudrun to 51% from 75% while still retaining its operatorship on both fields, also contains a contingent payment.
Statoil says it anticipates a gain from the transaction in the range of $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion, to be adjusted for activity between the effective date Jan. 1, 2013 and the closing date -- slated for later this calendar year pending regulatory approvals.
The company plans to use the cash to pay for capital expenditures. Previous divestitures by Statoil since 2010 have been used to fund core, high-turn upstream projects.
Shares of Statoil were up about 1% to $21.91 in recent trade.