Statoil Passes Vilje Rights - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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Norwegian state company Statoil ASA ( STO ) has passed its operatorship rights of the Vilje field in the North Sea to block partner Marathon Oil Norge, the Norwegian unit of Marathon Oil Corporation ( MRO ).

The change in operatorship, to be effective from September 1, 2012, subject to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy's consent, does not involve any alteration of the respective stakes in the production license (PL) 036D.

This transfer has enabled Statoil to use a rig, which was earlier intended to be used for the Vilje South development, for other drilling operations.

Statoil remains focused on a string of activities in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). Portfolio management forms a key area in Statoil's strategy. The application of the company's strategy in NCS is expected to enhance the area's worth.

Statoil's continuous effort to build an unconventional resource portfolio is aimed at increasing production through increased exposure to large energy resources with long reserve life. The deal involving asset sales to Centrica, the purchase of Hess Corporation 's ( HES ) holding in the Snohvit field, and the purchase and sales agreement with Total SA ( TOT ) on the Valemon and Hild fields, which are under development - are the company's efforts towards this end.

Located about 20 kilometers northeast of the Marathon-operated Alvheim field, Vilje field commenced production on August 1, 2008. The Vilje field has two subsea wells attached to the Alvheim production vessel. The estimated daily output from the field is 21,000 barrels of oil in 2012, with first oil anticipated by the end of 2013.

Marathon Oil Norge, Statoil and Total are the licensees in PL 036D with holdings of 46.9%, 28.85% and 24.24%, respectively.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimates for Statoil are $3.00 and $3.02 per share for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, respectively. The estimates symbolize year-over-year a decline of 69.5% for 2012 and a growth of 0.9% for 2013.

Statoil holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months. For the long term, we maintain our Neutral recommendation.

HESS CORP (HES): Free Stock Analysis Report
MARATHON OIL CP (MRO): Free Stock Analysis Report
STATOIL ASA-ADR (STO): Free Stock Analysis Report
TOTAL FINA SA (TOT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: HES , MRO , NCS , PL , STO

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