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New review of international contracts

November 28, 2003, 14:35 CET

Statoil's board of directors has today authorised the engagement of Deloitte & Touche, lawyer Jan-Fredrik Wilhelmsen in the law firm Sørlie Wilhelmsen and lawyer Jørgen Stang Heffermehl in the law firm Simonsen Føyen to conduct a thorough and independent review into whether there has been any use of, or attempts to use, improper influence to obtain or retain any international business.

The review will be carried out on behalf of the board and will not cover the Horton matter, which is currently being investigated by the law firm Hjort on behalf of the board.

The board intends that this independent review should be one which complies with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines.

The board will provide the investigators with all necessary resources and access to all relevant information.

Ernst & Young have not been retained for this review because they are Statoil's external auditors and under applicable accounting independence rules they are not permitted to conduct a review of this nature.

Also, the newly appointed investigators cannot rely upon Ernst & Young's prior work for the board, although they will have access to Ernst & Young’s audit and attest work, including the prior work for the board.

The board intends for this review to be done as expeditiously as possible but no date has yet been set for its completion.

When the review is completed, its conclusions will be published.

Contact person: Finn A Hvistendahl, head of the board's audit committee, tel: +47 40 28 40 70 (mobile).