Norwegian oil exploring giant
) has divested 25% of its working interest in the exploration
license, offshore Mozambique, to Japan-based INPEX Mozambique
Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of INPEX Corporation.
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Statoil is the operator of the license which includes two blocks
under one license agreement. The blocks rest in a frontier area
in water depths ranging between 300 meters and 2,500 meters.
Spread over an area of 8,041 square kilometers, the license is
located in areas 2 and 5 offshore Mozambique in the Rovuma basin.
The company plans to spud the first well in the license during
the second quarter using the drillship Discoverer Americas.
Statoil will retain the operatorship of the block upon the
completion of farm-in and will hold a 40% participating interest.
Other partners include INPEX Mozambique, Ltd., Tullow Mozambique
Limited, a subsidiary of Tullow Oil and the Mozambican state oil
company - Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, E.P. - holding
25%, 25% and 10%, respectively.
The commercial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed
and require approval from the Mozambican government. Statoil's
operation in Mozambique is in sync with its exploration strategy,
which concentrates on an early entry into prolific regions. The
company's strategy will help it to achieve its aim of enhancing
production to 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by
Discovery forms an integral part of growth for Statoil. Further,
these discoveries confirm Statoil's advantageous position in the
world's fastest growing gas hub of East Africa. The Geological
Survey has projected Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and
the Seychelles to hold about 441 Tcf of gas. The latest sale
demonstrates the attractive prospects of Statoil's acreage in the
region and at the same time facilitates risk-sharing while
holding a considerable working interest in the Mozambique area.
Statoil holds a Zacks Rank #2 (short-term Buy). However, there
are other stocks in the energy sector, namely,
Range Resources Corporation
NGL Energy Partners LP
Calumet Speciality Products Partners LP
) that are expected to perform impressively over the next few
months. Range Resources and EPL carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy), while YPF carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).