Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, agreed to enter the Faroe Islands as it bought stakes in three exploration licenses from Statoil ASA.
Exxon will acquire a 50 percent in licenses 009 and 011, and 49 percent in license 006, in which P/F Atlantic Petroleum holds 1 percent, Statoil said today in a statement. Statoil, based in Stavanger, Norway, will keep the operatorship in all licenses. Faroe Island authorities have approved the deal.
“I’m very pleased with getting such a competent and experienced partner on board in this frontier area,” said Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration at Statoil. “Both ExxonMobil and Statoil have extensive experience in exploring in harsh environments.”
As North Sea fields mature, oil producers are exploring harsher, more challenging environments such as the Arctic, a region where large oil and gas deposits are estimated to remain. The Faroe Islands, an island group located north of Scotland and west of Norway, began awarding oil licenses in 2000.
Baard Glad Pedersen, a Statoil spokesman, declined to provide a price for the transaction when reached by phone.
Statoil, Exxon and Atlantic Petroleum plan to drill the Brugdan exploration well in the second half of the year, Statoil said today. Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, which operates six licenses in the Faroes, has drilled two wells there to date.
“ExxonMobil looks forward to working together with Statoil, Atlantic Petroleum and the Faroes’ authorities on this exploration opportunity,” Russ Bellis, exploration director at Irving, Texas-based Exxon, said in the statement. “We plan to apply our experience and expertise to explore this area through the application of industry-leading technologies and the highest standards of safety.”