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    OMV sells Norwegian oil find as part of shift towards gas

Summary

Lundin wants to build up its operations in the Barents Sea.

by: Joseph Murphy

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OMV sells Norwegian oil find as part of shift towards gas

Austria's OMV has sold its 25% interest in the Wisting oil discovery in the Norwegian Barents Sea to Sweden's Lundin for $320mn, as part of a shift in its focus to natural gas, the companies announced on October 28.

The Equinor-operated 2013 Wisting find holds 500mn barrels of oil equivalent of mostly oil and some gas. While OMV is exiting the project, Lundin is expanding its position to 35% through the deal.

"We intend to increase the share of natural gas over oil to reduce the carbon intensity of the product portfolio in the future,” Johann Pleininger, OMV board member, said in a statement.

Lundin wants to build up its operations in the Barents Sea, where it already has an interest in the Johan Sverdrup oil project. It will pay $320mn to OMV initially for its stake, and potentially up to an additional $20mn depending on the project's final budget.

“The acquisition of a further stake in the high-quality Wisting development, is a perfect example of how we look to supplement our organic growth strategy with opportunistic acquisitions, fitting our ambition to sustain the company long term,” Lundin CEO Nick Walker commented. “With strong project economics, Wisting will be powered from shore and will be a significant contributor to sustaining our long-term production profile.”

Lundin and OMV said they hoped to complete the deal by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. A plan for development and operation of Wisting is due to be submitted with authorities by the end of 2022, and production is expected to start in 2028.

Equinor has a 35% interest in the discovery, while other partners Petoro and Idemitsu have shares of 20% and 10% respectively.