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Rig contract with Diamond extended (revised)

August 22, 2006, 11:00 CEST

Statoil is extending the charter contract with Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV for the Ocean Vanguard drilling rig. The contract is worth NOK 1.8 billion.

Lasting for two years, the contract includes an option for Statoil to extend the contract. The contract takes effect in April 2008. The rig will mainly be used for exploration drilling in the North Sea and in the Halten/Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea.

”We are very pleased that we have secured Ocean Vanguard for another two years. This will make it possible to maintain the high exploration activity on the Norwegian continental shelf for a long time,” says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil.

The Marshall Islands-registered semi-submersible Ocean Vanguard was built in Brevik, Norway in 1982 and is a third-generation rig. It is designed for drilling in water depths of down to 450 metres (1,500 feet). The drilling depth is stated to be maximum 7,600 metres (25,000 feet).

The rig has been chartered by Statoil since 2004. Ocean Vanguard is currently drilling a well off Mid-Norway for Shell, which Statoil has a rig collaboration with.