Equinor has agreed to acquire an additional stakes in five oil and gas discoveries in the Troll, Fram, and Kvitebjørn area offshore Norway from Wellesley Petroleum.

Wellesley will transfer its 40% stake in production licences (PLs) 878, 878 B, and 878 C, which contain the Atlantis discovery; and a 20% stake in PLs 923 and 923 B, which contain the Røver Nord and Røver Sør discoveries.

The firm will also transfer 15% of PL 248 I and 45% of PL 925, which comprises an estimated 18.8% portion of the Grosbeak discovery, and a 45% stake in PLs 630 and 630 CS, which contain the Toppand discovery.

Wellesley Petroleum CEO Chris Elliott said: “The agreement provides Equinor with more scale in high-quality operated development projects with excellent ESG characteristics whilst allowing Wellesley to crystallise value and refocus the portfolio towards our core exploration acreage.”

Upon the closing of the deal, Equinor’s stakes will increase to 80% in Atlantis, 95% in the Toppand discovery, and 60% in the Røver Nord/Sør discoveries.

Equinor’s stake in the Grosbeak discovery in PL248I will increase to 55%. The stake in the same discovery in PL925 will rise to 85%.

Equinor Norway exploration and production vice-president Kjetil Hove said: “With this transaction, we strengthen our position in one of our core areas on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“These discoveries can be put into production with low costs and low CO₂ emissions by being connected to the suitable infrastructure in the area. Discoveries close to infrastructure are important for our ambition to maintain production at current levels from the NCS beyond 2030.”

Subject to the government and licence approvals, the deal is planned to be closed in the first half of this year.

Equinor, in collaboration with partners, has commenced field development projects to coordinate the development of the five discoveries in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Concurrently, Equinor is set to sign a deal to buy British North Sea oil and gas assets from Suncor Energy for approximately $1bn, reported Reuters, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

The deal will cover Suncor’s 40% stake in the Rosebank oil and gas project, located nearly 130km northwest of the Shetland Islands.