STATOIL, TOTAL: HIGHER EFFICIENCY
While Statoil is eying an increase in oil production from the Gullfaks South, Total is moving closer to divesting from the West of Shetland area. The two projects, which are relatively close, indicate how companies in the North Sea are trying to monetise assets, while increasing production.
Total signed an agreement to sell 20% of its interests in the Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet fields to SSE E&P UK for £565 million (around $876 million).
"The sale of these minority interests is aligned with Total's portfolio management strategy and target of divesting $5 billion of assets in 2015. It allows us to capitalize fully on this new deep offshore development, while retaining a majority interest and operatorship," Arnaud Breuillac, President, Exploration & Production, commented in a note released on Wednesday.
Total will hold a 60% operated interest in the Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet fields, alongside partners DONG E&P (UK) (20%) and SSE E&P UK (20%). SSE will acquire a stake in the Shetland Gas Plant and interests in several exploration licences in the West of Shetland area.
According to Total, the area will witness an increase in production.
'With the imminent start-up of the Laggan project in the West of Shetland area, Total will open its third hub in the UK and a new frontier gas production area for the industry. By the end of 2015, Total is expected to become the largest producing oil and gas company in the UK.'
Similarly, Statoil, the main hydrocarbon producer in Norway, bets on increased efficiency to push production up.
'Production from the Gullfaks South (GSO) fast-track project for improved oil recovery in the North Sea started on 27 July. GSO will increase the output from the Gullfaks area by around 65 million barrels of oil equivalent' Statoil wrote on Wednesday.
The sentiment for offshore activity in the United Kingdom remains negative, but it is rebounding.
'Oil & Gas UK's Business Sentiment Index for the second quarter of 2015 published today (29 July) shows that the UK oil and gas industry remains fragile but that companies' outlook is improving. Pessimism has moderated with respondents returning a score of minus 27 on a -50/+50 scale, up four points from minus 31 reported by the survey in the first quarter of the year' Oil & Gas UK wrote in a press release.
Last week, Operator Statoil and its PL146/PL333 partner Total E&P Norge announced they made a gas and condensate discovery in the Julius prospect in the King Lear area in Norway's North Sea.
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