STAVANGER, Norway, Dec. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Statoil ASA (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO) has together with partners in the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan today made a final investment decision for the Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz gas field, in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan. Statoil also enters an agreement to divest a 10% share of its 25.5% holdings in Shah Deniz and the South Caucasus Pipeline. The BP operated Shah Deniz consortium today announces the final investment decision for the Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz gas field, in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan. This decision triggers plans to expand the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCPX) through Azerbaijan and Georgia, to construct the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey and to construct the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) across Greece, Albania and into Italy. Together these projects will create a new Southern Gas Corridor to Europe. The total cost of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 and SCP Expansion projects will be around USD 28 billion. "The Shah Deniz Stage 2 project is a significant project which will make Azerbaijan's large gas resources available for the European market, it brings benefits for customers and creates value for the partners", says Helge Lund, president and CEO of Statoil. Statoil has today also signed an agreement to divest a 10% share of its 25.5% holdings in the Shah Deniz and the South Caucasus Pipeline. The buyers are SOCAR (6.7%) and BP (3.3%). Statoil will as part of this transaction receive a total cash consideration of USD 1.45 billion. Effective date of the transaction is 1.1.2014. "The divestment corresponds with our strategy of portfolio optimisation based on rigid prioritisation of future investment, and capturing value created from a significant gas position", Lund continues. Statoil will not participate as an investor in TANAP.