Ormen Lange drilling contract awarded to Smedvig

March 18, 2004, 11:00 CET

The Ormen Lange license group has today awarded Smedvig a contract valued at approximately NOK 1.17 billion (USD 167 million) for drilling of wells at the Ormen Lange field.

The contract comprises drilling of eight production wells. Smedvig will start the drilling operations during the second half of 2005, using the drill ship "West Navigator".

Hydro is operator for Ormen Lange during the development phase, including all field development, the onshore gas processing plant at Nyhamna in Mid-Norway, as well as the export pipeline project.

The contract was entered into by Norske Shell, which is responsible for the planning and execution of the pre-drilling program. Shell is also the operator for the production phase.

The contract award is conditional on the governmental approval of the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) and the Plan for Installation and Operation (PIO). Production start of the Ormen Lange field is planned for October 2007.

Ormen Lange is the largest gas field under development on the Norwegian continental shelf. It is located 100 km off the northwest coast of Norway at a water depth of 850 to 1,100 meters.

Partners in the Ormen Lange license group:

Hydro (operator for the development phase) 18.0728 %
Shell (operator for the operational phase) 17.0375 %
Petoro 36.4750 %
Statoil 10.8441%
BP 10.3420 %
ExxonMobil 7.2286 %