Through an integration agreement, Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Aker Exploration ASA are uniting to realize their shared ambition of creating a bigger and more dynamic oil company. As a result of the merger alone, the new company will be the second biggest company by far on the Norwegian continental shelf in terms of licenses and operatorship.
The merged company will have a strong presence along the coast of Norway, with its registered address in Trondheim and offices in Stavanger, Oslo and Harstad. The company will retain the name Det norske oljeselskap ASA, and Erik Haugane will be CEO. Kjell Inge Røkke, chairman of the board of Aker Exploration, will be proposed as chairman of the board of the new Det norske oljeselskap ASA.
The agreed conversion ratio means that Det norske‘s shareholders will own 82 per cent of the merged company, while Aker Exploration‘s shareholders will own 18 per cent. Aker ASA will be the largest shareholder in the company with around 30 per cent of the shares, based on Aker‘s ownership in the two companies today.
A stronger exploration company
The merge between Det norske and Aker Exploration unites two exploration companies that have each succeeded in building up sizeable licence portfolios on the Norwegian continental shelf in the space of a few years. The merged company will be the second biggest oil company on the Norwegian continental shelf by a good margin – in terms of the number of licences, operatorships and exploration activity. After the merger, the company will be operator for 32 licences and it will have 70 licences in its portfolio.
Bård Johansen, President and CEO of Aker Exploration, sees the merger as a major step forward: ‘It will give us better opportunities to choose the best prospects and to optimise the portfolio. The merger will also mean that Aker Exploration‘s shareholders will own a more liquid share,‘ he says.
The merged company will have rig capacity that strengthens Det norske‘s position as an attractive operator and partner for many players on the Norwegian continental shelf. That will put the company in a better position to take an offensive approach in connection with the awarding of operatorships and licences in new rounds. The merged company has long-term contracts with two floating rigs, ‘Song Delta‘ and ‘Aker Barents‘.
Complement each other
Increasing production in a cost-efficient, robust and environmentally friendly manner will be an important task for the merged company. The substantial portfolio of licences forms an excellent basis for the internal prioritisation of exploration wells and field development projects, further business development and cooperation with existing and new players on the Norwegian continental shelf.
There are still great opportunities on the Norwegian continental shelf. ‘There are large volumes of oil and gas that have yet to be discovered and that are of great value to society and to Det norske,‘ Erik Haugane emphasises.