Statoil Sells Shah Deniz Stake for $2.25b to Petronas

Statoil Sells Shah Deniz Stake  for $2.25b to PetronasStatoil Sells Shah Deniz Stake  for $2.25b to Petronas

Norway’s Statoil has sold its remaining 15.5 percent stake in the Shah Deniz gas project in Azerbaijan to Malaysia’s Petronas for $2.25 billion as part of asset sales to shore up returns to shareholders.

Like other oil majors, Statoil has been selling assets to protect margins eaten up by rising costs and, in recent weeks, falling oil prices. It earlier sold a 10 percent stake in Shah Deniz, according to Reuters. Monday’s deal also includes Statoil’s stakes in a South Caucasus pipeline company and two other firms.

Its second-quarter production from the Shah Deniz field was 38,000 barrels oil equivalent per day, Statoil said.

“The divestment optimizes our portfolio and strengthens our financial flexibility to prioritize industrial development and high-value growth,” Lars Christian Bacher, Statoil’s head of development and production activities outside Norway, said in a statement.

“The process has been going on for a few months”, said Statoil spokesman Knut Rostad. “We continuously make assessement and have proven an ability in recent years to create value through portfolio optimization.”

The transaction is expected to close in early 2015, although for accounting purposes the effective date will be set at Jan. 1, 2014.