The licence, which consists of two blocks under one licence agreement, is located in areas 2 and 5 offshore Mozambique in the Rovuma basin.

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Nick Maden, senior vice president in Exploration international in Statoil.

"The farm-down reflects the attractiveness of Statoil's acreage in Mozambique. Bringing INPEX onboard allows the companies to diversify geological risk while sharing the potential upside. The first of two wells in the license will be drilled during the second quarter by the drillship Discoverer Americas," says Nick Maden, senior vice president in Exploration international in Statoil.

The blocks are located in a frontier area with a water depth varying between 300 and 2,500 metres. The area covers 8,041 square kilometres.

"Our presence in Mozambique is in line with Statoil's exploration strategy, focusing on early access in a prolific region. Large gas discoveries have recently been made north of the acreage and the prospectivity for hydrocarbons in the Statoil-operated blocks is promising," adds Maden.

After the farm-in completion, the block will continue to be operated by Statoil Oil & Gas Mozambique A.S. with a 40% participating interest. The other partners are INPEX Mozambique, Ltd. (25%); Tullow Mozambique Limited (25%), a subsidiary of Tullow Oil; and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, E.P., the Mozambican state oil company (10%).

The commercial terms of the transaction are confidential and it is subject to Mozambican government approval.

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