The merger of Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Aker Exploration ASA is finally completed. From today (December 23, 2009) the shares of the merged company are listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The name is still Det norske oljeselskap ASA (DETNOR).
– The merger is a major step in order to make Det norske into an effective company on the Norwegian shelf. The merger will give us a wider portfolio of exciting prospects, better access to rig capacity and a primary owner with industry know-how and significant financial muscle.
Now our task is to operate the company towards field development and substantially larger production. We will continue to be a company on the offensive.
The merged company’s business name will be Det norske oljeselskap ASA. Aker ASA will be the merged company’s largest shareholder, with around 40 percent of the shares.
The merged company will become the second largest oil company on the Norwegian shelf, in number of operatorships and exploration activity. Following the merger, the company will operate 32 licenses and have a portfolio of 70 licenses.
Erik Haugane is Chief Executive Officer of the company and Kjell Inge Røkke will take the position of chairman.
The strategic basis of the merger is a desire to create a company with a larger and more diversified exploration portfolio. It provides better opportunities for growth and increased operational capacity. As one of the largest operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the merged company will also be active in the consolidation that is likely to come in the industry. The merged company is a solid partner for other oil companies and Norwegian authorities.
The merged company has licenses in mature areas close to existing infrastructure, where development costs will be lower. This is combined with a portfolio of more challenging exploration opportunities. Det norske has ownership interests in producing fields and a substantial portfolio of discoveries that will be developed in coming years.The company has long-term agreements with two semi-submersible drilling rigs, Songa Delta and Aker Barents. The latter is particularly well suited for operation under extreme climatic conditions and in environmentally sensitive areas. With these agreements, the merged company has acquired the rig capacity and flexibility needed to explore and develop its large portfolio of licenses.
With the completion of the merger, the shareholders of Det norske will receive approximately 1.4 shares for each share. This means that the value of the company is distributed among more shares. Each of these shares will therefore have a lower rate. Based on the stock value of Aker Exploration and Det norske as of Tuesday 22 December at 2 pm, the share value of Det norske at the opening hour of the Stock Exchange on Wednesday 23 December, will theoretically be around 35.4 NOK, compared with the current rate of around 50 NOK.
About Det norske:
Det norske oljeselskap ASA has after the merger with Aker Exploration interests in a total of 70 licenses, with 32 operatorships. Det norske is the second-largest operating company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf both considering number of operatotships and exploration activity. I 2009 the company operated nine exploration wells, and the high activiy will continue in 2010. Det norske runs its activities in a safe and responsible manner in close cooperation with the authorities.
Det norske currently employs a staff of 176. The company`s registered office is located in Trondheim. The company also has offices in Oslo, Harstad, and Stavanger.