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Statoil, Partners Capture Frontier Leases Offshore Newfoundland, Nova Scotia

Statoil ASA and its partners ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., BP plc and BG plc have claimed six frontier exploration licenses in the Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland, as well as two licenses to explore for oil and natural gas offshore Nova Scotia.

"The successful bids in these frontier areas offshore Canada are in line with Statoil's strategy of deepening our position in prolific basins and securing access at scale, while also adding important optionality to our exploration portfolio," said Statoil's Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration.

Statoil explores in Flemish Pass Basin and the Newfoundland leases are in an area nearby to its previous Mizzen discovery in 2009, and the Harpoon and Bay du Nord discoveries in 2013. Last year the Norwegian explorer began an 18-month drilling program in Flemish Pass to appraise the Bay du Nord discovery and test new prospects. Statoil operates Bay du Nord with a 65% interest, while Husky Energy has a 35% stake.

The licences offshore Newfoundland total 1.467 hectares (5,664 square miles), and are in an area near the Statoil-operated Bay du Nord discovery. Statoil would operate five licences and participate in one as a partner.

The Newfoundland licenses and partnership stakes are NL15-01-02, Chevron 35%/operator, Statoil 35% and BG 30%; NL15-01-05, Statoil 40%, ExxonMobil 35% and BG 25%; NL15-01-06, Statoil 34%, ExxonMobil 33% and BP 33%; NL15-01-07, Statoil 34%, ExxonMobil 33% and BP 33%; NL15-01-08, Statoil 50% and BP 50%; and NL15-01-09: Statoil 100%.

The two parcels offshore Nova Scotia in NS15 cover 650,000 hectares (2,509.6 square miles), and are about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Halifax.

"The significant exploration investment offshore Newfoundland will provide Statoil an opportunity to further advance our established exploration position in this region through a step-wise approach, while in Nova Scotia, we are able to apply the exploration knowledge and experience we have gained globally and in the North Atlantic specifically," Dodson said.

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