Equinor seeks $1 bln from North Sea oilfield stake sale, sources say

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Equinor's flag in Stavanger, Norway December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

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  • North Sea oilfield Martin Linge began production in June
  • Equinor aims to sell 19% stake, retaining 51% -sources

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Norwegian energy group Equinor (EQNR.OL) plans to sell a stake in its Martin Linge oilfield in the North Sea, hoping to raise more than $1 billion, industry and banking sources told Reuters.

The sale is aimed at reducing Equinor's large stake in the field and take advantage of strong demand for Norwegian oil and gas assets, the sources said.

Norway's oil and gas sector has attracted a flurry of deals in recent months, highlighting its appeal for investors despite growing pressure on governments and companies to combat climate change.

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The Martin Linge offshore field started production last June and is expected to reach a peak output of 115,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day next year, Equinor's website says.

Equinor holds a 70% stake in the field and Petoro, which manages Norway's interests in offshore oil and gas licences, owns the remaining 30%. Equinor plans to sell off a 19% stake, reducing its holding to 51%, three sources said.

The stake earmarked for sale is being marketed by Lambert Energy, the sources said.

Equinor and Lambert Energy declined to comment.

Development of the Martin Linge cost 63 billion NOK ($6.94 billion) and the field is powered by onshore electricity, significantly reducing the field's greenhouse emissions.

Equinor is also seeking to sell its 7.6% stake in Ekofisk, which is the oldest oilfield complex in the Norwegian North Sea and underpins the Brent crude benchmark, the sources said.

British energy supplier Centrica (CNA.L) and its partner, German utility Stadtwerke Munchen, last week agreed to sell their Norwegian oil and gas assets to Sval Energi for a total of $1.1 billion. read more

($1 = 9.0839 Norwegian crowns)

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Reporting by Ron Bousso Editing by David Goodman

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