Norway-based oil and gas company Equinor has agreed to acquire Shell’s 30% stake in the Linnorm gas discovery in the central part of the Norwegian Sea.

The acquisition will increase Equinor’s ownership in the PL 255 covering the Linnorm discovery to 50%.

Currently, the partners in the PL 255 are Shell, Petoro, Equinor, and TotalEnergies, with a stake of 30%, 30%, 20%, and 20%, respectively. Shell will also remain the operator of the Linnorm gas discovery until the completion of the transaction.

Shell Norway managing director Marianne Olsnes said: “We are proud of our efforts to mature Linnorm and are pleased that we were able to find a solution which opens for it to be developed with an aligned partnership.

“This does not impact our ambition to maintain a material upstream position in Norway and contribute to the development and transition of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.”

Located 50km northwest of the Draugen field, the Linnorm discovery is the largest undeveloped gas discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It was proven in 2005 and delineated in 2007.

The Linnorm discovery is estimated to contain nearly 25-30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of recoverable gas resources.

Equinor intends to continue to evaluate a tie-back for Linnorm to the company-operated Kristin or Åsgard B installations.

Equinor Norway exploration and production executive vice president Kjetil Hove said: “Through this acquisition, Equinor will deepen our position in the Halten area, in line with our strategy to optimise our portfolio on the NCS. We know this area well, where we already have producing hubs and still see attractive opportunities.”

Subject to the approval of the Norwegian authorities, the acquisition is expected to be completed in Q1 2024.