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UPDATE 2-Statoil to finalise Peregrino deal with Sinochem
* Sinochem's buy of 40 pct in Peregrino awaits govt approval
* Peregrino to ramp up to 100,000 boed within 12 months
* FPSO, 37 wells to target 300-600 million boe
By Wojciech Moskwa and Walter Gibbs
OSLO, April 11 (Reuters) - China's Sinochem [SINOC.UL] is expected to win final approval within a week for its $3 billion purchase of a 40 percent stake in the Peregrino field off Brazil, seller Statoil ASA (STL.OL) said on Monday.
"This is something that we are firm on believing. This will be finalised within the next week," Peter Mellbye, Statoil's executive vice president responsible for development and production outside Norway, told Reuters in a phone interview.
The Norwegian oil and gas producer's deal with Sinochem dates from May 2010 but has not formally closed pending government approval. Statoil will retain a 60 percent stake.
It has been delayed by a chill in relations between Beijing and Oslo following the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award last year's Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. [ID:nLDE6971RQ] [ID:nOSN004915]
Peregrino has started production and will ramp up capacity to 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day within the next 12 months, Statoil said on Monday.
"Today we are only producing a couple thousand barrels per day...from one well ...with a couple more wells due in the coming months," Mellbye said. "100,000 (barrels per day) is within the next 12 months, after a gradual build-up."
The field is Statoil's biggest responsibility as an operator outside Norway and will make the firm one of the largest foreign producers in Brazilian waters.
"Peregrino makes us a significant actor in Brazil, where our role will depend on exploration success and ability to buy additional acreage. Winning out in exploration rounds is the avenue to growth (off Brazil) beyond Peregrino," Mellbye said.
Statoil said the offshore field, at a depth of 100 metres, contains 300 to 600 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent and "significant yet-to-find potential".
Peregrino is 85 kilometres (53 miles) off Brazil in the Campos basin. The first phase of development includes two drilling and wellhead platforms and a large floating production, storage and offload unit (FPSO).
"The project team and our partners have done an excellent job in delivering a complex project according to plan and below costs," Statoil CEO Helge Lund said in a statement.
Maersk's FPSO, which was built at the Keppel Shipyard (KPLM.SI) last year, was connected to the oilfield last November. [ID:nLDE73A06C]
A total of 37 wells are planned, all of them using advanced horizontal well technology to maximise recovery, Statoil said. (Editing by Jason Neely)
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