STAVANGER, Norway, May 13 (UPI) -- Taking a stake in the Barents Sea from French supermajor Total provides an "interesting platform" for new opportunities, Norwegian major Statoil said.
Statoil announced it reached a deal for an asset swap in the Barents Sea with Total. The companies trade 10 percent of their equity in the PL535 and PL395 areas of the Bjarmeland area in the central Barents Sea.
Both parties have proved natural gas resources in the region.
"The Bjarmeland area has an interesting resource potential which may become important for future gas developments in the Barents Sea," Statoil exploration Vice President Gro Haatvedt said in a statement. "We believe that this transaction creates an interesting platform for future opportunities in this area."
The Norwegian government needs to sign off in the deal before it's formalized.
Norway is the largest oil producer in Europe and the second-largest exporter of natural gas after Russia.
In July, Norway estimated parts of the area, about 200 miles north of Hammerfest, could hold as much as 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.