StatoilHydro acquires interest in DeSoto Canyon blocks

BHP Biliton has granted a 40% interest to StatoilHydro in 50 frontier blocks in the DeSoto Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico.

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, Apr. 14 -- BHP Biliton has granted a 40% interest to StatoilHydro in 50 frontier blocks in the DeSoto Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico.

The DeSoto Canyon area lies east of Independence Hub in 1,000 m of water. StatoilHydro hopes to secure early access to new plays.

StatoilHydro conducted a similar early-access deal with ExxonMobil Corp. in 2005 in the Walker Ridge area of the gulf, according to Tony Dore, StatoilHydro vice-president of exploration for North America.

StatoilHydro and BHP Billiton bid successfully on 14 additional blocks within this same trend at the Central Gulf Lease Sale 208 held in New Orleans last month (OGJ Online, Mar. 18, 2009). Together, the two companies were the apparent high bidder on all blocks.

The partners are awaiting final approval from the US Minerals Management Service's for the leases on those blocks.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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