The companies have conducted joint operations for over 30 years on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Their NCS operating experience has allowed both companies to gain expertise in tackling harsh environments as well as develop new technology to enhance recovery from existing fields.

ConocoPhillips’ initial drilling in the Chukchi Sea is presently scheduled for 2012.

Larry Archibald, senior vice president for exploration and business development at ConocoPhillips, said: “Statoil’s decision to acquire interest in these leases substantiates ConocoPhillips’ view that world-class hydrocarbon potential exists in the Chukchi sea of Alaska. ConocoPhillips has had a long-term business relationship with Statoil in many ventures around the world, particularly in Norway, and welcomes its expertise in this harsh operating climate.”

In addition to financial considerations from Statoil, ConocoPhillips will also acquire

50% working interest in 16 Statoil-operated Gulf of Mexico (GOM) leases and acquire all of Statoil’s 25% working interest in five additional GOM leases operated by ConocoPhillips.

All of the involved GOM blocks are in the emerging lower tertiary play where ConocoPhillips has participated in the 2009-announced discoveries Tiber and Shenandoah.