Equinor to buy Shell’s stake in Norway gas discovery

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Equinor has reached an agreement to acquire Shell’s equity in and operatorship of the Linnorm discovery in the Norwegian Sea.

This agreement entails Equinor obtaining a 30% interest in the PL 255, which covers the Linnorm discovery, contingent on assuming the operatorship from A/S Norske Shell. The transaction is anticipated to be finalized in the first quarter of 2024.

“Through this acquisition, Equinor will deepen our position in the Halten area, in line with our strategy to optimize our portfolio on the [Norwegian Continental Shelf]. We know this area well, where we already have producing hubs and still see attractive opportunities,” stated Kjetil Hove, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for Exploration and Production Norway.

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Discovered in 2005, the Linnorm discovery is the largest undeveloped gas discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). It is estimated to hold about 25-30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of recoverable gas resources, surpassing the remaining reserves in the Aasta Hansteen, Martin Linge, and Gina Krog fields.

The Linnorm discovery, located in the central part of the Norwegian Sea, approximately 50 kilometers northwest of the Draugen field, was proven in 2005 and delineated in 2007. Equinor said, at a water depth of around 300 meters, that Linnorm presents a complex and challenging high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) reservoir. The gas is relatively dry with a high CO2 content, situated in the Ile, Tofte, and Tilje Formations from the Early to Middle Jurassic age, featuring variable quality.

“A lot of good work has already been done to mature Linnorm. Together with our partners, we will build on this and develop the Linnorm gas resources for the European market,” Hove added.

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Equinor is also exploring the possibility of connecting Linnorm to their Kristin or Åsgard B installations.

Marianne Olsnes, Managing Director of Shell in Norway, commented, “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.”

The completion of the deal is subject to the approval of Norwegian authorities. Current partners in PL 255 include A/S Norske Shell (30%, operator until transaction completion), Petoro (30%), Equinor Energy (20%), and TotalEnergies EP Norge AS (20%).


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