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Statoil (STO) Acquires Interest in 2 Exploration Rights

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Norwegian giant Statoil ASA has increased its presence in South Africa by announcing the acquisition of two offshore frontier blocks.

Details of Farm-in of Two Licenses

Statoil acquired a 35% interest in Exploration Right 12/3/252 Transkei-Algoa from ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM - Free Report) , the operator of the license.  Lying in water depth of about 3,000 meters, the license spans about 45,000 square kilometers. On completion of this transaction, ExxonMobil and its other partner, Impact Africa, hold an interest of 40% and 25%, respectively.

In another transaction, Statoil has purchased 90% interest from OK Energy Ltd along with its operatorship of the Exploration Right 12/3/257 East Algoa. OK Energy retains the remaining 10% interest. The license spans about 9,300 square kilometers

Statoil Strengthens its Position in South Africa

Statoil’s efforts to strengthen its foothold in South Africa dates back to 2015, when it acquired interest in Tugela South Exploration Right from ExxonMobil. The license was operated by ExxonMobil.

The latest acquisition of interests in the blocks further reinforce Statoil’s goal to increase operations in the country. An international company with operations in over 30 countries, Statoil, aims to develop and capitalize on the value of its distinctive Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) position, its international oil and gas business and its increasing new energy business.  

About Statoil

The company has operations in all major hydrocarbon-producing regions of the world, with an emphasis on the NCS. We believe that Statoil is well positioned to sustain its steady production growth in the next few years on the back of its large resource base at NCS. The continuous endeavor of the company to increase the shelf life is also reflected in its price chart. Shares of Statoil have gained 9.7%, as against the industry’s decrease of 1.6% over the last three months. However, the company’s high leverage is a cause of concern.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Statoil carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked players in the energy sector include Transmontaigne Partners LP and Range Resources Corporation (RRC - Free Report) . Both these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.  

Transmontaigne, headquartered in Denver, CO, involves in transporting and storing refined petroleum products. The firm delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 6.60% over the last four quarters.

Based in Fort Worth, TX, Range Resources is an independent oil and gas company, engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of U.S. oil and gas resources. The company’s 2017 earnings are estimated to grow 1587.17%.

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