Statoil bids $4.4bn for Norwegian firm Brigham

STATOIL is bidding $4.4bn for Brigham Exploration to boost its unconventional energy resources in the US, one of its key growth areas.

The Norwegian state-controlled oil firm backed its belief in the growing importance of unconventional sources on energy supplies with an agreed $36.50 (£23) per share all-cash offer, a 36 per cent premium to Brigham’s average price in the past month.

Statoil already has a stake in the Marcellus shale gas project with Chesapeake in north-east America and owns acreage in the Eagle Ford prospect in Texas, together with Canada’s Talisman.

“Marcellus is primarily dry gas, Eagle Ford is a combination of dry gas and liquids and this (Brigham’s assets) is oil. We now have a good, deep position in the US in unconventionals,” said Statoil chief executive Helge Lund.