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Appraising the Astero discovery using a new well

August 23, 2006, 10:00 CEST

Hydro's promising oil discovery on the Astero prospect north of the Fram field in the North Sea is to be appraised using a new well. Drilling started on Wednesday morning, using the semi-submersible drilling rig "Transocean Winner".

The drilling rig sailed from Ølen on last Thursday, and performed anchoring tests prior to reaching the Astero prospect on Sunday evening. Drilling of the well "35/11-14S" began on Wednesday morning, and is scheduled to continue for 61 days.

The aim is to appraise the size of the Astero discovery, which Hydro made in May 2005, and to determine the gas-oil contact. The well will also provide information regarding reservoir quality in the field.

The results from the first exploration well on Astero are said to be promising, and estimates indicate that the discovery is commercially interesting. However, as yet no development concept for the field has been decided upon.