OKEA has signed an agreement with Equinor Energy to acquire a 28% working interest in PL037 in the Statfjord area, offshore Norway, for an initial consideration of $220m.

Under the terms of the agreement, OKEA will acquire a 23.9% stake in Statfjord Unit, 28% in Statfjord Nord, 14% in Statfjord Øst Unit and 15.4% in Sygna Unit from Equinor.

Through the acquisition, OKEA is expected to increase its production to 13,000-15,000boepd in 2023 and 16,000-20,000boepd in 2024.

In addition to the fixed consideration, the agreement includes a contingent consideration structure based on crude oil prices over a period of three years, through 2025.

The transaction, with an effective date of 1 January 2023, is expected to be completed in Q4 2023, subject to customary government approval.

OKEA CEO Svein J Liknes said: “We are very pleased to announce this transaction with Equinor which represents another significant step in delivering value-accretive growth in line with our strategy.

“Through this acquisition, we are increasing production to well above 40,000boepd in 2024, nearly three times higher than production at the time of launching our growth strategy in the fall of 2021.

“In addition, we are diversifying our asset base further without the need for any new financing. We look forward to initiating fruitful cooperation with Equinor and their FLX team and continuing to create value as a leading mid- to late-life operator.”

In December 2021, Equinor signed an agreement with Spirit Energy to acquire its 78.6% working interest in the Statfjord area.

With the current agreement with OKEA, Equinor will have a 54.7% working interest and will remain as operator of the Statfjord field.

Statfjord is one of the largest fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Operated by Equinor, the field started production with Statfjord A in 1979, followed by Statfjord B in 1982 and Statfjord C in 1985.

In 2020, Equinor established the Field Life extension (FLX) unit to achieve a 200% increase in remaining reserves, 25% cost reduction and 50% CO2 reduction at Statfjord by 2030.

The FLX unit focuses on safe operations, and enhanced recovery from the field, along with reducing costs and CO2 emissions.

FLX Field Life Extension senior vice president Camilla Salthe said: “With this transaction, we continue to optimize our oil and gas portfolio, welcoming an industrial player with late-life expertise into the Statfjord partnership.

“This will contribute to the diversification and high value-creation from the Statfjord area in the years to come.

“Taken together with the recent acquisitions from Wellesley in Norway, the transaction demonstrates Equinor’s approach to long-term portfolio optimisation and high-grading.”