* Statoil enters 'Guyanas trend'
* Analysts welcome move
* Shares trade in line with sector
By Tom Bergin
LONDON, Nov 18 Norway's Statoil
has agreed to buy a stake in an exploration block offshore
Suriname from Tullow Oil, adding to the list of
international oil companies entering what industry sources say
could be a major new production province in South America.
Statoil is to buy a 30 percent interest in block 47, on
undisclosed terms, joining Royal Dutch Shell Plc and
France's Total as an investor in a region Tullow calls
"the Guyanas trend".
London-based Tullow will retain a 70 percent stake.
Tullow has bought exploration rights to large swathes of
territory offshore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana, hoping to
replicate its success in finding big fields offshore West
The company believes the regions have shared geology
stemming from when Africa and South America were still connected
many millions of years ago.
In September, the theory was boosted when Tullow announced
its Zaedyus well, in which Shell and Total have stakes, struck
oil offshore French Guiana.
Analysts welcomed the 'farm-down'.
"A very sensible move by Tullow to capitalise on the Zaedyus
success/ growing interest in the Guyanas Trend by introducing a
larger partner," Phil Corbett, analyst at Royal Bank of
Scotland, said in a note to clients.
Tullow shares traded down 0.8 percent at 0804 GMT, in line
with the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index, while
Statoil was down 0.6 percent.