Smedvig Secures Contract Extension for West Venture

Smedvig has signed an agreement with Norsk Hydro to extend the drilling contract for the semisubmersible drilling rig West Venture. The extension of the drilling contract has a firm duration of two years and in addition, annual renewal options for five more years. The estimated contract value for the firm period is US$ 150 million (approximately NOK 1 billion) and includes an incentive scheme related to drilling performance.

West Venture is equipped with a dual derrick set allowing for enhanced drilling efficiency. The dual drilling system is especially advantageous in completion of subsea production wells.

West Venture has operated on the Troll field for Norsk Hydro during the last four years and has demonstrated substantial drilling efficiency improvements in drilling and completion operations compared to conventional drilling.

Commencement under the new contract is scheduled for August 2004, in direct continuation of the current assignment for Norsk Hydro.

"The agreement confirms the attractiveness of the enhanced drilling performance demonstrated by Smedvig," says Kjell E. Jacobsen, CEO, Smedvig asa.

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