OKEA Acquires Equinor's 40% Interest in the Aurora Discovery
Norwegian oil & gas company OKEA ASA has signed a sales and purchase agreement with Equinor Energy AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equinor ASA, to acquire its 40% operated interest in licenses PL 195 and PL 195 B (including the Aurora discovery) in the Norwegian North Sea. The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed.
PL 195 (Block 35/8) covers an area of approximately 30 sq. km, while PL 195 B (Block 35/8) covers around 15 sq. km. The licences contain the Aurora field, a small discovery located west of the Gjøa field, that is estimated to have recoverable volumes in the range of 12 to 28 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).
OKEA aims to pursue a low-cost development of Aurora as a tie-in to Gjøa without further appraisal drilling. Wintershall Dea GmbH and Petoro ASA holding the remaining 25% and 35% working interests in these licences, respectively. PL 195 was originally awarded in September 1993 to Den Norske Stats Oljeselskap AS (45%), BP Petroleum Dev. of Norway AS (25%), Norske Conoco AS (15%) and Norsk Hydro Produksjon AS (15%), while PL 195 B was awarded in January 2006 to Norsk Hydro Produksjon (40%), Petoro (35%) and RWE Dea Norge AS (25%).
“By this transaction we are diversifying our portfolio as well as strengthening our position in the Gjøa area. A development of Aurora fits right into the core of OKEA’s strategy with low-cost field development of smaller discoveries,” said Erik Haugane, the company’s CEO.
Oslo-listed OKEA was originally backed by the Seacrest Capital Group, and currently has integrated Thai energy group Bangchak Corporation PCL as its major shareholder with a 46.5% stake. It holds a portfolio of upstream interests in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), including the producing Draugen, Gjøa and Ivar Aasen fields.
The completion of the transaction and the potential change in operatorship of the licenses remains subject to approval by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum & Energy.