Statoil, a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company, together with its partner Empresa Nicaraguense del Petroleo (Petronic) signed 4 concession contracts with the State of Nicaragua for the exploration and exploitation of an area of approximately 16,000 km2 in the offshore Nicaragua´s Pacific coast. Statoil will be the operator with 85% equity, and Petronic (the State-owned oil company) will hold the remaining equity. The concession contracts were signed on May 28, 2015, after a process of more than 8 months of application and negotiations that followed the signing of the cooperation agreement between Statoil and Petronic on September 3, 2014.
Arias & Muñoz has advised Statoil throughout the process with the help of Partner Gustavo-Adolfo Vargas and Associate Ana Cecilia Chamorro.
This will be the first time Statoil, a well-established oil company, operates in Nicaragua. The 4 concession contracts cover the vast majority of the offshore Pacific coast of Nicaragua, which is virtually untested and offers Statoil the chance for long term exploration and exploitation. For more than 35 years, no concession for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons had been granted in the offshore Pacific coast of Nicaragua.
Moreover, these concession contracts are the first contracts awarded by the State of Nicaragua to a partnership made between Petronic and an international E&P company following an amendment to the Nicaraguan Hydrocarbons Law, which established that all companies seeking to develop, explore, and exploit hydrocarbons resources had to do so in partnership with the State-owned oil company. For this reason, the government of Nicaragua considers the signing of these contracts as an historic moment for the country.