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Norwegian oil company entering the Bakken play

A Norwegian company is expanding into the Bakken play in western North Dakota. As Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, Statoil wants to expand its operations to on-shore drilling.

Eli Aamot is the vice president of research for Statoil (STAT-oil).

"Statoil's origin is the Norwegian state oil company," said Aamot in an interview at Statoil's headquarters in Trondheim, Norway. "The company is now private, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. "

Aamot said Staoil is now in 36 countries, with 21,000 employees. "We're the second-largest exporter of natural gas to Europe. And Europe is depending on us for this energy."

In the Bakken, Statoil has purchased the former Brigham operations. Aamot says Statoil has mainly been involved with off-shore drilling in Norway– but has recently expanded into on-shore shale plays.

"We entered into the Marcellus (Shale play in Pennsylvania) as a beginning, and the Bakken is another interesting business opportunity for us," said Aamot. 

Aamot says Statoil is a big natural gas exporter to the rest of Europe.  She says in Norway, natural gas flaring is prohibited – and she says she hopes that will be the case in the Bakken.

"We recognize that the gas in the Bakken is a valuable resource, which we intend to bring to the market," Aamot said.

She said Statoil plans to be as transparent as possible – and wants to be a part of the community in western North Dakota.


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