OSLO, July 3 (Reuters) - Norwegian oil firm Statoil is reducing its stakes in two blocks off Angola to finance an exploration drilling campaign in the area, where it believes billion-barrel discoveries can be made, it said on Thursday.
The firm is selling 10 percent of its stakes in blocks 38 and 39 in the Kwanza basin, to Ecopetrol of Colombia. In block 39, it also bought a stake of 7.5 percent from France’s Total, reducing its net stake by 2.5 percent.
After the deals, Statoil will remain the operator of both blocks. In block 38 it will have a stake of 45 percent, while in block 39 its stake will be 37.5 percent.
A Statoil statement did not give the value of the transactions. The deals are subject to approval by Sonangol - Angola’s state-owned oil firm - the Angolan oil ministry and the license partners, Statoil said. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Alister Doyle)