Norwegian energy giant Statoil has bought a sizeable stake in Lundin Petroleum for an "attractive price", as oil prices continue to plumb historic lows.
Statoil bought an 11.9 per cent stake in the independent oil and gas exploreer company for 4.6bn Swedish Kronas (£375m).
The move will increase Statoil's indrect exposure to the Norwegian continental shelf, which includes discoveries such as the large new Johan Sverdrup field development where the Norwegian firm holds 40 per cent and Lundin 22.6 per cent.
Eldar Sætre, president and chief executive of Statoil, said: "We consider this a long term shareholding."
"The Norweigian continental shelf is the backbone of Statoil's business, and this transaction indirectly strengthens our total share of the value creation from core, high value assets on the NCS."
It comes against a backdrop of falling North Sea crude oil prices, which hit a 12-year low just below $30 per barrel today.
A Statoil spokesman said: "The timing and the current market enable us to do this at a favourable price. This is a value creating transaction for us."
"We have a strong financial position and are able to pay for this while at the same time working on our ongoing projects and investing in them."