Statoil to drill Angolan blocks by 2014

Statoil has been awarded operatorship for blocks 38 and 39 and partner position in blocks 22, 25, 40 in the Kwanza basin in Angola

This follows the conclusion of the competitive Limited International Bidding Round organised by Sonangol for access to pre-salt acreage in the Kwanza Basin offshore Angola.

"With 20 years of experience in Angola and a position as one of the largest producers in the country, becoming an operator of two pre-salt licences is an important milestone for Statoil,” said Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil. “The Angolan pre-salt is a frontier play with high potential, believed to be analogous to pre-salt Brazil. Early access to a multiple block portfolio in exploring this new play gives Statoil exposure to significant upside potential should the play be proven.”

Statoil will have a financial commitment of approximately US$1.4bn relating to the above-mentioned awards, including signature bonuses and a minimum work commitment. The work commitment consists of 3D seismic acquisition spanning in total 18,400 sq km and participation in eight exploration wells in total. Statoil will also contribute to the development of Sonangol's Research and Technology Centre, social projects and training programmes for Sonangol employees.

Statoil's technical and subsurface competence, experience in international deep water exploration and established track record in planning and executing large complex offshore projects will be beneficial in unlocking the exploration potential of this pre-salt play. Statoil is already partner and has shares in blocks 4/05, 15, 15/06, 17 and 31.

The Angolan continental shelf is the largest contributor to Statoil's production outside Norway. Statoil's equity production from blocks 15, 17 and 4/05 yielded 173,000 boepd in 2010, 34 per cent of the company's total international oil and gas output.

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