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New rig secured

April 13, 2007, 14:15 CEST

Statoil has today, 13 April, signed an agreement with Odfjell Invest AS for hire of the sixth-generation Deepsea Atlantic rig.

The rig will be used for production and exploration drilling at the Statoil-operated North Sea Gullfaks field.

Odfjell Invest is building the rig at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in South Korea. It will be delivered in the first half of 2009.

"Consideration towards safeguarding the natural and working environment on the rig has been decisive for this contract award," says Terje Overvik, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway (EPN).

"The rig will contribute to ensuring safe and effective operations at the Gullfaks field."

He adds that the procurement is an important contribution to fulfilling the aggressive production targets Statoil has set for the Tampen area of the North Sea.

Anders Opedal, vice president for procurements in the drilling and well technology business unit in Technology and Projects (T&P), is pleased that Statoil has secured essential future rig capacity in a tight market.

"With the signing of this contract, Statoil is inviting Odfjell to be part of a renewal of the ageing rig fleet on the Norwegian continental shelf," says Mr Opedal.

Statoil has secured flexibility with regard to the length of the contract which runs for four or five years, with an additional two two-year options. Statoil must decide on the final length of contract by July 2008.