Cairn Energy sells third of a Greenland block to Statoil

Cairn Energy is selling a third of one of its Greenland exploration blocks to Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil. The UK firm is farming out a 30.625% interest in […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Cairn Energy is selling a third of one of its Greenland exploration blocks to Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil. The UK firm is farming out a 30.625% interest in its Pitu block in the Arctic region.

The move is a bid to “de-risk” the assets, according to a spokesperson for Cairn, who said bringing in another partner to share the capital costs had been part of Cairn’s plan if it didn’t make enough headway after its first two years alone.

Cairn said it is not revealing how much money is changing hands over the deal because it is in negotiations with other parties over some of its assets in the area. It has 11 blocks in offshore, west and southern Greenland.

A spokesperson denied Cairn was losing interest in the region, telling ELN: “Cairn is still absolutely committed to Greenland. Don’t take this as a first step towards getting out of the whole thing.”

Announcing the sale, Simon Thomson, chief executive at Cairn Energy said: “In Greenland, Statoil’s extensive Arctic operating and development experience makes them the partner of choice for the Pitu block where we see significant potential.”

A spokesperson for Statoil, which has two other licences in the region with Shell as the operator, added the firms were now looking at seismic data to decide whether to drill an evaluation well at the “frontier exploration”.