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Secures rig for exploration offshore Norway

December 14, 2005, 14:00 CET

Hydro has entered into an agreement with Transocean Offshore (North Sea) Ltd NUF to lease the drilling rig "Transocean Winner" for a three-year period. The rig will be reactivated to drill exploration wells in the Norwegian offshore sector by the fourth quarter of 2006.

Hydro is an active exploration company and made six finds in Norwegian waters during 2005. Hydro presently operates five floating rigs and has both alone and together with other oil companies in Norway, secured good rig capacity to carry out planned as well as new exploration drilling operations in the Norwegian offshore sector during the coming years.

”We see significant potential for future exploration activity in the Norwegian offshore sector and want to contribute our expertise, capacity and experience to map out and develop resource potential both in mature and new areas,” says Hydro Exploration Norway chief Lars Christian Alsvik.

”With this in mind, we have applied for new shares and operatorships in the 19th concession round and TFO round (award of pre-defined areas) in 2005.  This rig contract is therefore a very important part of Hydro’s strategy. It secures us additional capacity to operate a focused and long-term exploration program in Norway,” he points out.