Statoil Plans to Grow North American Production 400%

Shale and Gulf regions show greatest potential outside Norway, says CEO.

HOUSTON -- Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA plans to increase oil and gas production in North America fivefold by 2020, primarily through unconventional resources, company President and CEO Helge Lund said March 6.

North America represents the company's largest growth opportunity outside Norway, said Lund during a news conference at the IHS CERA Week energy event in Houston.

In 2011, Statoil produced about 100,000 barrels per day in North America. The company's goal is to increase production to 500,000 barrels per day by the decade's end, Lund said.

In October, Statoil announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Brigham Exploration Co., an Austin, Texas-based company with significant holdings in the Bakken and Three Forks tight oil plays in North Dakota and Montana.

The company expects to produce 60,000 to 100,000 barrels per day during the first phase of production in the Bakken field, Lund said.

Statoil has holdings in the Marcellus shale region, as well, but so far production from the Marcellus play is minor compared to the company's overall production, Lund said.

The company is responding by reallocating resources to more liquids-rich areas, he said.

Lund spoke to reporters prior to his scheduled keynote address. Lund said he planned to discuss a need for the oil and gas industry to display more transparency with the public.

Additional CERA Week Coverage:

U.S. Energy Policies Stall As Partisan Gap Widens

TransCanada on Track to Resubmit Keystone Application by Spring

Eni Chief: High Pump Prices Could Push U.S. Truck Fleets Toward Natural Gas

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