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Germany's Wintershall grabs Norwegian Sea position

The Norwegian government said Monday it's given German energy company Wintershall consent to drill in the Norwegian Sea after completing a deal with Statoil.

The Petroleum Safety Authority said Wintershall will serve as the operator at a shallow-water exploration well dubbed Imsa, located in the Norwegian Sea.

Statoil announced Monday it completed a deal with Wintershall to give the German company a stake in several assets on the Norwegian continental shelf for cash consideration of $1.25 billion and another $50 million should "milestones" be realized in the region.

"Active portfolio management is part of Statoil's strategy and this transaction demonstrates the company's ability to capitalize on successful development projects," the Norwegian energy company said in a statement.

Statoil's financial performance for 2014 was mixed. It's increased production in some key performance sectors, but also cut more than 1,000 positions in an effort to reduce costs and improve capital efficiency.

For Wintershall, the company said the deal increases its production from Norway by 50 percent to 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

"With this transaction, we are taking a major step towards achieving our goal of establishing ourselves as one of the leading oil and gas companies in Norway," Wintershall Board Chairman Rainer Seele said in a statement.

Drilling is slated to begin in December for Wintershall and should last into the middle of March. If a discovery is made, the Norwegian government said operations may continue for another two months.

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