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Interesting exploration blocks in 19th round

June 17, 2005, 10:30 CEST

Hydro's exploration manager Nils Telnæs is positive about the new exploration blocks announced in the 19th concession round on the Norwegian Contintental Shelf.

"It's positive that a new and extensive concession round has been announced, and that all the exploration blocks we consider the most interesting have been included," he comments.

The concession round includes a total of 64 new exploration blocks, of which 34 are in the Norwegian Sea and 30 in the Barents Sea. This is the first opening of exploration areas in immature areas of the Barents Sea since 1996.

"We see the 19th round as a positive signal to the oil industry. It's also positive that the Government is opening up so many blocks in the Barents Sea. All the blocks that Hydro considered to be the most interesting have been included in this concession round," says Telnæs.

"Hydro's application will reflect our strategy to develop our activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with a special focus on the Barents and the Norwegian Seas."

The deadline for applications to the 19th round is November 15, 2005. Allocation of exploration areas will take place in the first quarter of 2006.

Oil and Energy Minister Thorhild Widvey says that the Government aims to process the holistic administration plan for the northern areas before the planned allocation of blocks.