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Norwegian energy company Statoil ASA (STO - Analyst Report) has formally taken over all the operations in the eastern part of its Eagle Ford asset in Texas.

Under the partnership deal signed in 2010, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM - Analyst Report) – a 50:50 joint venture partner of Statoil –initially held the operatorship of the entire acreage, while Statoil was to attain operatorship for half of the acreage at a later stage.

Statoil has taken charge in parts covering four counties – Live Oak, Karnes, DeWitt and Bee – in south-central Texas. Talisman will retain operational responsibility for the western acreage, which mainly spreads over the counties McMullen, La Salle and Dimmit. The joint ownership for the total acreage will not be affected by the distribution of operational responsibilities.

The Norwegian giant will also be accountable for producing wells and other facilities, pipelines and infrastructure as well as a field office in Karnes county. Statoil has already assumed operations on three drilling rigs in Eagle Ford.

The transition process has given Statoil an operational role in all of its three U.S. onshore shale assets – Bakken, Marcellus and Eagle Ford.

With a net acreage of around 73,000 in the Eagle Ford shale, Statoil generates 20,200 barrels of oil equivalents per day (Boe/d) from about 300 producing wells. As part of a global output target of attaining 2.5 million Boe/d, Statoil aims to enhance its North American yield to 500,000 Boe/d by 2020.

Statoil is a Norway-based major international integrated oil and gas company. Though the company has operations in all major hydrocarbon-producing regions of the world, it has an upstream focus on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Statoil carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) stocks – PetroQuest Enerrgy Inc. (PQ - Snapshot Report) and Hornbech Offshore Services, Inc. (HOS - Snapshot Report) – are expected to perform impressively over the short term.

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