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Monday, June 6, 2011

Statoil sells $3.25 billion gas pipeline stake, (STL), (ALVG)

Norwegian energy giant Statoil (STL.OL) agreed to sell a 24.1 percent stake in a European natural gas transport venture to a group including German insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for 17.35 billion crowns ($3.25 billion). Statoil will retain a 5 percent stake in Gassled, the owner of gas pipelines and processing facilities on the Norwegian shelf, which last year piped about 100 billion cubic metres of gas to Britain, Germany, Belgium and France. That amounts to some 16-17 percent of European Union annual gas consumption and is second in size only to Russian imports. "We believe we can use our competence elsewhere with a higher return on our investment," Statoil said, adding that the after-tax profit from the deal amounted to 9 billion crowns.