Norway-based Statoil and Brazilian state-run energy firm Petrobras have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to expand their cooperation in exploration activities.

The deal focuses on two key initiatives, including the possible joint acquisition of new exploration acreage in areas of mutual interest and a joint screening study to evaluate possible operational synergies.

The companies said that the new exploration acreage would be purchased through joint participation in public bid rounds.

Statoil CEO Helge Lund said that the company has had a technology agreement with Petrobras for a number of years.

"A lot of good work has been done in both companies through information sharing and a joint commitment to common technology projects," Lund said.