As of Monday, Norway’s Statoil has taken over operatorship of the eastern portion of its Eagle Ford Shale assets that it has held in a 50-50 joint venture (JV) since 2010 with Talisman Energy USA Inc.

Talisman initially acted as operator of the jointly owned acreage under a JV agreement that gave Statoil entry into the Eagle Ford. It specified that Statoil would attain operatorship of half the acreage at a later date (see Shale Daily, Oct. 12, 2010). The Statoil-operated activities fall mainly within Live Oak, Karnes, De Witt and Bee counties in Texas. Karnes and De Witt are among the top oil-producing counties in Texas (see Shale Daily, July 1).

“This is an important milestone for Statoil’s development as an operator in the U.S., ” said Torstein Hole, senior vice president for U.S. onshore. “We now have operational activities in all our onshore assets, Bakken, Marcellus and Eagle Ford. Our organization in Houston is eager to further develop our Eagle Ford holding as operator…”

Late last month, Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported that Talisman was shopping its Eagle Ford acreage in an effort to raise capital (see Shale Daily, June 20).

Last year, the companies agreed that Statoil, through a phased transition, would take responsibility for operations in the eastern half of the asset. Talisman will continue with operational responsibility for the western acreage, which is principally in McMullen, La Salle and Dimmit counties. The joint ownership for the total acreage is not impacted by the splitting of operational responsibilities, the companies said.

Statoil has already taken over operations on three drilling rigs in the Eagle Ford. As of Monday the company assumed responsibility for producing wells, processing facilities, pipelines and infrastructure, and a field office in Runge, which is in Karnes County.

Statoil holds about 73,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford. Its share of production stands at 20,200 boe/d from about 300 producing wells. The company has been active in U.S. shale plays since 2008. The company holds “significant positions” in the Marcellus and the Bakken shales. Production from these positions is a “strong contributor” to Statoil’s North American growth strategy, where the ambition is to produce more than 500,000 boe/d in 2020, the company said. Its global goal is to produce 2.5 million boe/d in 2020.