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Statoil Acquiring GOM Discoveries, Prospect From Anadarko

Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. continues its divestiture plan with a deal struck with Statoil for the Norwegian company to pay Anadarko $901 million for its interests in and around two deepwater Gulf of Mexico discoveries and one prospect. The transaction may be structured as a joint venture as opposed to sale.

The agreement relates to Anadarko's holdings in the Knotty Head (25% working interest) and Big Foot (15% working interest) oil discoveries, as well as the Big Foot North (15% working interest) prospect.

"This transaction further advances our efforts to reduce financial leverage following the acquisitions of Kerr-McGee and Western Gas Resources in August" (see Daily GPI, Aug. 24; June 26), said Anadarko CEO Jim Hackett. "Anadarko's position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico is very robust, with nine hub-and-spoke development projects already on-line, a number of discoveries proceeding toward sanction, six exciting exploration wells currently drilling and a solid prospect inventory for the future. The agreement with Statoil represents an opportunity to realize the value from a portion of our extensive portfolio."

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007, subject to applicable pre-emption rights of co-owners in the subject leases and other customary closing conditions.

Randall & Dewey marketed and served as Anadarko's financial advisor for the lease blocks relating to Knotty Head, while Lehman Brothers provided financial advisory services for the Big Foot and Big Foot North blocks.

Anadarko announced a divestiture plan in June (see Daily GPI, June 29). The company said in September that was well on its way to restoring its balance sheet and establishing permanent financing for the Kerr-McGee and Western deals (see Daily GPI, Sept. 20). Progress has included the sale of Anadarko Canada Corp. to a Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (see Daily GPI, Sept. 15). Anadarko also agreed to divest its remaining Canadian arctic frontier interests through a separate exchange of assets with Chevron USA Inc. and Chevron Canada Ltd., wholly owned subsidiaries of Chevron Corp. (see Daily GPI, Nov.3). Anadarko so far has been unsuccessful in its attempts to sell its Bear Head LNG project (see Daily GPI, Sept. 29; July 11).

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