Report: Maersk Oil Abandons Stake in Dvalin

Courtesy DEA

By MarEx 2016-10-06 11:34:26

The Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv reports that Maersk Oil has given up its 20 percent stake in the North Sea Dvalin project, without compensation. 

Maersk Oil transferred ten percent each to partners DEA (50 percent) and Petoro (30 percent). Edison of Italy holds the remaining 20 percent.

“Maersk Oil’s technical view of the project means our participation in Dvalin does not provide the economic value we would need to justify further investment. Consequently we are withdrawing from the development," the firm said in a statement to Subsea World News. The firm did not comment on the report that it had not been paid for its share. 

The news comes just days after the announcement of a $1.3 billion investment package for Dvalin, led by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's oil and gas firm DEA. It also follows closely after the exit of Austrian firm OMV, which sold its 20 percent share in Dvalin to Norwegian state-owned oil firm Petoro in September. 

Dagens Næringsliv suggested that state-owned Petoro had acquired its stake from Maersk and OMV as a policy measure, a means to save the gas development project during a low point for Norwegian offshore activity. Low oil prices have changed the economics of offshore E&P, and capital spending in the sector has fallen worldwide over the past year. 

With backing from DEA and Petoro, drilling should start in 2019 and production is scheduled for 2020. The production platform will be tied into the existing Heidrun platform, where gas will be processed and transferred to shoreside infrastructure. 

DEA says that the Dvalin field has been known for decades, but that other firms had had no success in exploration in the area. DEA struck gas in two reservoirs there in 2010.

Separately, Maersk Oil is still moving ahead with other offshore development projects, notably Culzean in the UK North Sea, which was spudded on September 29. Culzean is being developed in partnership with JX Nippon and BP, and Maersk Drilling is the drilling contractor.