CALGARY, April 27 /CNW/ - Statoil ASA (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO) and North
American Oil Sands Corporation (NAOSC) announced today that they have entered
into an acquisition agreement whereby Statoil will make an all-cash offer to
acquire all shares of NAOSC at a price of CAD 20 per share. The total
transaction value is approximately CAD 2.2 billion, equivalent to about USD 2
NAOSC, a Calgary-based company, was formed in 2001. It operates 257,200
acres (1,110 square kilometres) of oil sands leases located in the Athabasca
region of Alberta, north-east of Edmonton.
The board of directors of NAOSC has unanimously approved the offer,
recommending that its shareholders accept the offer. The three principal
shareholders of NAOSC - Paramount Resources Ltd, funds managed by affiliates
of ARC Financial Corporation and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan - have agreed
to tender all of their shares to the offer. They represent approximately 69%
of the issued and outstanding shares on a fully diluted basis.
"Today's acquisition is an important strategic move which supports our
global growth ambition and increases our reserve bookings in the long term,"
says Helge Lund, chief executive of Statoil.
"We will become operator and get access to large recoverable resources
that will add to our production post 2010. We are developing our global heavy
oil portfolio and strengthening our marketing position in North America."
Heavy oil production is energy intensive and challenging in an
"We will utilise our experience in developing resources in a sustainable
manner, applying technology solutions that minimise environmental impact,"
says Mr Lund.
"We are excited to have secured this agreement and look forward to
creating value by leveraging on our key competences such as improved oil
recovery (IOR) and large project execution skills," says Mr Lund.
It is estimated that the NAOSC leases hold approximately 2.2 billion
barrels in recoverable reserves. Statoil believes that by applying its broad
technological competence developed through 30 years of experience on the
Norwegian continental shelf, there is a potential for increasing the
recoverable reserve base.
A pilot production scheme, the Leismer demonstration project, is
currently in its final phase of obtaining regulatory approvals. It will have a
capacity of 10,000 barrels of produced bitumen per day and first production is
expected late 2009/early 2010. The first phase of the commercial project, Kai
Kos Dehseh, is planned to come on stream in 2011, ramping up production to
around 100,000 barrels per day in the middle of the next decade. The portfolio
is expected to yield more than 200,000 barrels per day at the end of the next
"We are impressed by the performance and competence held by the employees
in NAOSC," says Mr Lund. "Combined with Statoil's experience and commitment to
prudent operations, we are well-positioned to develop the resources in a
sustainable manner, creating value for Statoil and its shareholders."
The offer is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary
conditions contained in the formal offer documents. Full details of the offer
will be included in a takeover bid circular and related documents which will
be filed with securities regulators and mailed to NAOSC security holders by
15 May 2007.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of
Note to the editors:
The production of unconventional oil in general and extra heavy oil (EHO)
in particular is becoming an increasingly important element of the global
liquid production. The Orinoco belt in Venezuela and the Athabasca region in
Canada represent the world's two main resource plays for extra heavy oil. The
latter is the largest of three oil sands deposits in Alberta, along with the
Peace River and Cold Lake deposits. Statoil has important experience with
producing EHO from Venezuela where the group has participated in building and
operating upgraders of heavy oil.
The development plans for the acquired NAOSC portfolio call for large
scale application of the SAG-D-technology (steam assisted gravity drainage),
which gives a much smaller environmental footprint than strip mining.
Conference call will be staged with CEO Helge Lund and CFO Eldar Saetre
at 15:00 CET and 09:00 EST.
Forward looking Statements
This Press Release contains certain forward-looking statements that
involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of
historical facts, including, among others, statements such as those regarding
Statoil's oil and gas production forecasts; plans for future development and
operation of projects; reserve information; expected exploration and
development activities; estimated capital expenditures; expected start-up of
new projects; expected operatorships and expected acquisitions of assets are
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are sometimes, but not
always, identified by such phrases as "will", "expects", "is expected to",
"should", "may", "is likely to", "intends" and "believes". These
forward-looking statements reflect current views with respect to future events
and are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties
because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in
the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and
developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these
forward-looking statements, including levels of industry product supply,
demand and pricing; currency exchange rates; political and economic policies
of Canada, Norway and other oil-producing countries; general economic
conditions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the
world; global political events and actions, including war, terrorism and
sanctions; the timing of bringing new fields on stream; material differences
from reserves estimates; inability to find and develop reserves; adverse
changes in tax regimes; development and use of new technology; geological or
technical difficulties; the actions of competitors; the actions of field
partners; the actions of governments; relevant governmental approvals;
industrial actions by workers; prolonged adverse weather conditions; natural
disasters and other changes to business conditions. Additional information,
including information on factors which may affect Statoil's business, is
contained in Statoil's 2006 Annual Report on Form 20-F/A filed with the US
Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be found on Statoil's web site
For further information:
For further information: Press: Ola Morten Aanestad, vice president
media relations, Statoil ASA, telephone, +011 47 480 80 212; Rannveig S.
Stangeland, public affairs manager, Statoil ASA, telephone, +011 47 48 12 59
78; Investor relations: Lars Troen Sorensen, senior vice president investor
relations, Statoil, telephone, +47 90 64 91 44; Geir Bjornstad, vice
president, US investor relations, Statoil, telephone, (203) 978 6950