Statoil mulls stake sale in Norwegian gas pipeline

Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer is considering selling part of its 28.5% stake in Gassled, the owner of the world’s largest offshore gas transmission system. A team of UBS and CDC Infrastructure bought a 9.43% stake in Gassled from ExxonMobil last year.

Statoil, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, is mulling the sale of part of its 28.5 percent holding in Gassled, the owner of Norway’s gas transport infrastructure and the world’s largest offshore gas transmission system.

“We are considering the divestment of part of our share in Gassled as we believe we can use the capital better for other ventures,” a spokesman for Statoil told Infrastructure Investor. Gassled is a joint venture between oil and gas companies operating in the Norwegian continental shelf. The company owns 7,470 kilometres of natural gas pipelines, five associated platforms, two gas process plants in Norway and gas terminals in the UK and Germany. 

Last year, ExxonMobil sold its 9.43 percent stake in Gassled to  the Njord Gas consortium, a team comprising the $1.5 billion UBS Infrastructure Fund (82 percent) and CDC Infrastructure (18 percent), a subsidiary of French state-backed bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations. The purchase price is unknown. 

However, Statoil might not be the only shareholder interested in divesting its Gassled holding. Shell and Total, which own 5 percent and 6.1 percent respectively of Gassled, are also said to be eying a sale, according to a report in Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. Neither company could be reached for comment at press time.