STATOIL will realise US$1.3 billion in proceeds thanks to a major asset sell-off which will involve farm downs in the Aasta Hansteen, Asterix and Polarled projects as well as exiting two assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The deal will see Statoil monetise on the Aasta Hansteen field development project, while retaining the operatorship and a 51 per cent equity share.

In addition, Statoil has decided to exit the non-core Vega and Gjøa fields.

The buyer is Wintershall, a Germany-based energy company and a well-established player on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Wintershall will acquire shares in the two producing fields Gjøa (5%) and Vega (24.5%), the development project Aasta Hansteen (24%), the Asterix discovery (19%), the Polarled pipeline project (13.2%), as well as equity in four exploration licenses in the vicinity of Aasta Hansteen.

The shares in the assets comprise reserves and resources of around 170 million barrels of oil equivalent.

In addition, the companies agreed that Wintershall will become operator of the producing field Vega, subject to the approval of the authorities and consent of the other license partners.

Wintershall board of executive directors chairman Rainer Seele said the company believed in the potential of the Norwegian Continental Shelf and was realising its goal to become one of the top oil and gas companies in Norway.

“With domestic production in Europe we are strengthening the European supply security,” he said.

The transaction will not involve transfer of personnel.

Statoil Norway development and production president Arne Sigve Nylund said the transaction increased the company’s flexibility to further strengthen its portfolio.

“We have a strong portfolio of projects,” Mr Nylund said.

“This transaction focuses our NCS portfolio and further improves our capacity to invest in core areas.”

The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2014, pending government approval.

Lambert Energy Advisory was financial advisor to Statoil on the deal.

Statoil’s latest asset sell-offs are just one of many in recent years as it seeks to position itself as a well-capitalised, technology focused upstream company.

The company has realised about $US20 billion in proceeds from divestments since 2010, including this transaction.

Total proceeds of around USD 20 billion have been realised through divestments by Statoil since 2010, including this transaction.

Last year Statoil divested its holdings in two West of Shetlands fields, Rosebank and Schiehallion.