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Shift to international waters

February 11, 2002, 00:00 CET

For the first time, Hydro spent more money exploring for oil internationally than on the Norwegian contenental shelf in 2001. The year's production was on target, and for the third year running, reserves grew faster than production.

"We are satisfied with production," says executive vice president Tore Torvund, who is responsible for Hydro's Oil and Energy business. "Especially with the very encouraging increase in the fourth quarter."

Oil and gas production will continue to grow around 5-6 percent in years to come as new fields come on stream. Reserves increased by 22 percent over production.

While Norway is still Hydro's largest single core area, developments in Angola and North America are very promising. Production began recently in two important fields, Terra Nova and Girassol (see page 10), and Hydro has been awarded a 30 percent share in the ultra deep water Block 34 offshore Angola.

"We have a much more balanced portfolio now," Torvund says.

Hydro's activities are not limited to oil, however. The massive Ormen Lange offshore gas project on the Norwegian continental shelf will play a large role in Hydro's future energy production.

Hydro is also involved in downstream gas and electricity sales. "We want to secure continuous growth in the liberalized gas and electricity markets in Europe," he says.

"Our main focus in 2002 is to secure growth in upstream production, and our success will depend on more finds."