France’s Total has agreed to sell off its stake in the Gina Krog field, which is located in the Norwegian North Sea around 250 km west of Stavanger. The buyer is the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (KUFPEC).
The French company announced on September 4 that it had signed a deal to offload its remaining 15% interest in the field, which had been controlled by local subsidiary Total E&P Norge. KUPFEC already owns a 15% stake in the field that it picked up in a previous transaction with Total that concluded in 2016.
Total did not give any indication of the monetary value of the latest arrangement, but according to KUFPEC – which is a subsidiary of the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) charged with looking after overseas interests – the deal was worth around US$317 million. This would put the total value of its double Gina Krog acquisitions at more than US$600 million.
"In the framework of our portfolio management, and optimisation of the allocation of capital, we have decided to fully divest our interest in the Gina Krog project and focus on other opportunities in Norway," said Total’s president of exploration & production, Arnaud Breuillac.
In particular, the company will want to concentrate on its recent multi-billion dollar acquisition of Danish company Maersk Oil & Gas. That deal, announced in August and valued at US$7.45 billion, has given Total a significant stake in the North Sea, and turned it into one of the largest regional operators.
Gas was originally discovered in the Gina Krog licence in 1974, but the size of the find was not considered commercial. Development plans were only drawn up after oil was struck at the same location in 2007 and 2008. The field eventually came on stream at the end of June this year, following a 31 billion krone (US$3.98 billion) investment from Statoil and its partners. The Gina Krog platform is tied into Sleipner A, around 30 km to the southeast.
Statoil operates Gina Krog with a controlling 58.7% stake. Besides KUPFEC, which now has 30%, the other licence partners are PGNiG Upstream Norway (8%) and Aker BP (3.3%).