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Satisfied with announcement of 19th round

June 16, 2005, 16:30 CEST

Statoil is well satisfied that 30 blocks in the Barents Sea and 34 blocks in the Norwegian Sea were announced by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in the 19th offshore licensing round today, 16 June.

"Access to new exploration acreage is particularly important for Statoil's focus on the Norwegian and Barents Seas," says Torbjørn Stølan, project manager for the 19th round.

The acreage announced in the Barents Sea is interesting and provides a good basis for testing the geology in larger areas.

The blocks in the Norwegian Sea provide the scope to test various exploration models.

Predefined areas close to existing infrastructure are not included in this round.

Nor were the companies asked to submit nominations for areas defined by the Norwegian authorities as particularly valuable in environmental terms.

These embrace the Nordland VI sector of the Norwegian Sea and parts of the continental shelf close to the coasts of the northernmost counties of Troms and Finnmark.

The deadline for applications is 15 November, with awards of new production licences scheduled for the first quarter of 2006.