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Statoil sells Shah Deniz stake to Petronas for $2.25 billion

Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s biggest energy company, will sell its 15.5 percent stake in the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan to Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd for $2.25 billion as it seeks to reduce investment and prioritize high-value projects.

The transaction includes sales of the interests in the field’s production-sharing agreement, the South Caucasus Pipeline Co. and its holding company, and a 12.4 percent stake in the Azerbaijan Gas Supply Co., the Stavanger-based company said in a statement today. The deal reduces Statoil’s capital-expenditure commitments by about $4.3 billion as the Shah Deniz partners, led by operator BP Plc (BP/), invest to expand gas exports in the project’s second phase, said spokesman Knut Rostad.

Statoil, which has scrapped production-growth targets and reduced investment plans until 2016 as it seeks to raise returns for shareholders, has sold assets for more than $22 billion since 2010, including a 10 percent stake in Shah Deniz in 2013.

“The divestment optimizes our portfolio and strengthens our financial flexibility to prioritize industrial development and high-value growth,” Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for development and production international, said in the statement.