17th concession round strengthens Hydro's position

May 30, 2002, 10:00 CEST

Ministry of Petroleum and Energy today announced that Norsk Hydro is offered operatorships and equity in the company's highest ranked areas in the 17th concession round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

"The award of high equity and operatorships in two areas, in addition to participating interest in a third, confirms Hydro's competitive position on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The award strengthens the company's position as a major long-term gas player in Norway and improves the basis for further growth for Hydro on the Norwegian Continental Shelf," says the president of Exploration and Development Norway, Torstein Dale Sjotveit.

Fles Nord has potentially large gas resources and is therefore of particular interest for the company. The Fles Nord blocks are located at water depths of 900 metres, centrally situated in the Voring Basin, approximately 150 kilometres north-west of the Åsgard field on the Haltenbank.

"Hydro's position in the Ormen Lange project, Fles Nord and the company's remaining exploration possibilities in the Norwegian Sea, including the Solsikke prospect to be drilled later this year, gives the company a unique position for further development of proven and potential gas resources in this important area," says Sjotveit.

Hydro is offered: PL 283 30 % (operator), PL 286 60 % (operator) and PL 282 25 % (partner).

A total of 32 blocks were promoted in the 17th licensing round, but only 18 blocks were awarded in six licences - leaving 14 blocks un-licensed due to a lack of interest.

In all, six licences were awarded. Norsk Hydro received two operatorships, while Agip , Phillips , Shell and Statoil got one each.

Bidders included Statoil, Norsk Hydro, Shell, Agip, BP, Chevron Texaco , Conoco , DONG, Enterprise , Fortum , Gaz de France , Phillips and RWE-DEA.

Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Press release