STAVANGER, Norway, May 3 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said it reached a deal to take a larger stake in its Swedish counterpart Lundin Petroleum in an asset swap.
Statoil said it was releasing its entire holdings, a 15 percent stake, in the Edvard Grieg field off the coast of Norway in exchange for a greater stake in Lundin.
"The increased shareholding in Lundin Petroleum will be an important long-term industrial investment for Statoil," Statoil Chief Financial Officer Hans Jakob Hegge said in a statement. "The transaction also underlines our long-term interest and commitment to the future of the Norwegian Continental Shelf."
Statoil in January spent $538 million to acquire an 11.9 percent stake in Lundin. The Norwegian company at the time said the acquisition would increase its exposure to Edvard Grieg and the giant Johan Sverdrup field, a field that should generate $200 billion in revenues over the next 50 years.
Lundin, which releases its quarterly earnings report later in May, said 2015 was a transformative year in part because of the start of production at Edvard Grieg. The company last year, however, cut its production guidance in response to infrastructure delays at the field.
For Lundin, the company said the acquisition of a greater stake in Edvard Grieg meant it could now raise its production guidance higher for the year. Lundin discovered the field in 2007 and said the stronger hold builds on what's expected to be a productive field for years to come.
"I am pleased to say that this transaction was the initiative of Lundin Petroleum," President and CEO Alex Schneiter said in a statement. "We saw a unique win-win opportunity to acquire a direct interest in a world class asset such as Edvard Grieg for an increased shareholding in Lundin Petroleum by Statoil."
Under the terms of the latest deal, Statoil, though the ownership of 68.4 million shares in Lundin, holds about 20 percent of the company's shares and corresponding votes.