With the amount of capital driving today’s energy companies,Statoil Energy recently announced it is searching for a partner tobolster its resource base. A spokesman for the Virginia-basedenergy marketer said the process is moving quickly and the companyhopes to find a partner by the end of the year.

“Our parent group, Statoil, has invested $700 million in StatoilEnergy,” said Dave Bornmann, a Statoil Energy spokesman. “Thesearch has been misconstrued as a selling of interest. Statoil isnot looking for someone to come buy $350 million of the company.They are searching for someone to come in and add to what alreadyexists.”

Bornmann said the ideal partner would be another energy company.”We are looking for a company that will bring something to thetable besides money. It is not a requirement, but the one that hasassets complementing those of Statoil Energy will be more likely tobe chosen.” He added that Statoil Energy is in discussions withinvestment banks right now, but the search has not officiallystarted yet.

In related news, seven members on the 10-person board ofdirectors for Statoil Energy’s parent company, the Norwegiangovernment-owned Statoil, will not have their directorship reneweddue to poor management of the Aasgard oil and gas field in theNorwegian Sea.

The three member who will have their positions renewed wereelected by company workers, while the seven who were fired wereoriginally placed on the board by the Norwegian government. AnneLahnstein, Norway’s oil and energy minister, said costs for thefield’s development surged to $64 billion crowns (U.S. $8.2billion) from an original $47 billion crowns, and that “its bestfor the company to appoint a new board.”

Bornmann said this upheaval will not affect Statoil Energy’soperations. “Those people were fired because of operations relatedto that field. Our search for a partner, and our operations as awhole, will go on unaffected.”

John Norris

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