Statoil has increased its presence in Indonesia by exercising farm-in options in three exploration licences.

The company will acquire a 40% equity interest in a North Makassar Strait production sharing contract (PSC) and a similar interest in two additional offshore PSCs: West Papua IV and Halmahera-Kofiau.

The three licences will be operated by Niko Resources, and Statoil has an option to become the operator in the development and production phase following success in the exploration phase.

The agreement, which is effective from 1 January 2011, also encompasses one exploration well commitment for the North Makassar Strait PSC.

The agreement is subject to governmental approval in Indonesia.

Statoil is the operator for the Karama offshore PSC in Indonesia and partner in the neighbouring Kuma PSC in the Makassar Straits, and will begin exploration on both these licences this year.