Cairn Energy sells stake in Arctic exploration license
Norway’s Statoil to become partner
Scotland’s Cairn Energy has sold a stake in one of its Baffin Bay oil exploration license to Statoil – a company whose majority stakeholder is the Norwegian government.
Cairn had been looking for partners in the project after two unsuccessful years of drilling in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait off Greenland’s west coast.
"Statoil is Norway's national energy company and they've got obviously extensive experience of drilling in the Arctic, in northern Norway, and also developing fields there. So …any success they'd have they would have the experience that Statoil's already gained from developing fields in their own home waters," said Nathan Piper, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
Cairn Energy said the terms of the deal with Statoil are confidential. It did say, however, that Statoil would acquire a 30 per cent interest in the Pitu block in the Baffin Bay basin, if it is approved by Greenland’s government. Pitu is one of 11 blocks operated by Cairn off Greenland's west coast.
Cairn said it would continue to operate the exploration project and Statoil would operate any future development.
Cairn Energy has not announced whether it will do any drilling off Greenland’s coast in 2012. The company has not yet drilled in Pitu block.