Norway’s Statoil has sold off stakes in a number of key oil fields to Austria’s OMV for at least $2.65bn (£1.7bn).
The value of the deal could increase by a further $500m to cover additional investments. This will help Statoil meet its capital expenditure target for the year, which it increased by $1bn to $19bn in February. It hopes to average $21bn a year until 2016 as it invests in exploration and brings in new projects on stream.
Chief executive Helge Lund said, "through this transaction, Statoil captures value created through asset development and unlocks capital for investment in high-return projects in core areas".
Statoil has sold 19 per cent of Gullfaks, 24 per cent of Gudrun, and has agreed optional cooperation in 11 of its exploration licences in the Norwegian North Sea, West of Shetland and the Faroe Islands.
The deal will boost OMV’s production by around 40,000 barrels in 2014 and nearly 60,000 barrels in 2016. It’s hoping to hit 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2016 – up from 297,000 in the second quarter of this year.