With new technology which can see beneath the salt on the ocean floor, oil leases are becoming a major source of potential income on the large bodies of water, and so has generated renewed interest as oil demand continues to rise. To that end , Statoil (NYSE:STO) acquired a 25 percent working interest in 50 leases ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) owns in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska.
Top executive for Statoil's exploration group in North America, Tony Doré, said they already own 16 leases in Chukchi, and adding another 50 gives them a large swath to explore in the years ahead.
ConocoPhillips will begin drilling in the area sometime in 2012.
Also as part of the deal, ConocoPhillips will receive a 50 percent working interest in 16 Gulf of Mexico blocks owned by Statoil, as well as all of the 25 percent working interest Statoil has in five other Gulf of Mexico blocks they have working interest in.