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Brazil a core area, Norwegian energy company Statoil says

Statoil taking a greater stake in a reservoir expected to hold as much as 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Norwegian energy company Statoil describes Brazil as a core part of its portfolio after increasing its hold in the offshore Santos basin. Map courtesy of Statoil
Norwegian energy company Statoil describes Brazil as a core part of its portfolio after increasing its hold in the offshore Santos basin. Map courtesy of Statoil

July 12 (UPI) -- The offshore Brazilian energy sector gets a vote of confidence and solidifies a position as a key focus for Norway's Statoil, the company said Wednesday.

Statoil signed up with a regional partner to take a 10 percent stake in a license area in the lucrative Santos basin, bringing the hold for the Norwegian energy major up to 76 percent in the $379 million deal.

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"This acquisition is a further expression of our confidence in Brazil, a core area for Statoil," Anders Opedal, Statoil's country manager for Brazil, said in a statement.

Brazil is one of the largest oil producers that's not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Statoil estimates the reservoir in question holds between 700 million and 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

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The company already claims ownership over the Peregrino field in the Campos basin off the coast of Brazil alongside Chinese energy company Sinochem. In 2015, Statoil said it achieved a production milestone in the region by passing the 100 million barrel mark.

"[This new transaction] also reinforces our position in a world-class asset which is a good match with our competence and capacity" Opedal said.

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Statoil confirmed to UPI in April that a federal court in Brazil granted an injunction to suspend the acquisition of an offshore exploration license from the state-run oil company known as Petrobras because of some concerns about competition.

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OPEC economists said Wednesday that Brazil was among the lead contributors to expected oil production growth among non-member states, with gains of 220,000 barrels per day expected next year, second only to the United States.

RELATED North Sea gas field delayed at least a year

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