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OMV Sees Norway Assets as ‘Buyer’s Market’ Amid Statoil Sell-Off

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- OMV AG, the biggest central European energy company, is seeking to buy more assets off Norway as Statoil ASA becomes more selective in its investments and other producers cut the size of their operations, pushing down prices.

“It might be becoming a little bit of a buyer’s market,” Bernhard Krainer, OMV’s general manager for Norway, said in an interview in Sandefjord today. “There are a lot of sellers out there right now.”

Any acquisitions by Vienna-based OMV would be smaller than last year’s $2.65 billion deal with Statoil ASA, which operates more than 70 percent of Norwegian oil and gas output, Krainer said. OMV is seeking both oil and gas assets and is “open” when it comes to their location, as long as they fit its current portfolio of 23 licenses in Norway, he said.

Offshore-asset sales in Norway may this year surpass a record 19 billion kroner ($3.1 billion) reached in 2012 as Statoil reaps the benefits of exploration success and becomes more selective on which projects it invests in after record spending last year, industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said earlier this month.

Other companies seeking to sell assets in Norway include Talisman Energy Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp., who have said they will leave the Nordic country, while RWE AG is looking to sell its Dea oil and gas unit. Royal Dutch Shell Plc., which issued a profit warning this month, will also sell North Sea upstream assets, the Financial Times has reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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