Norsk Hydro Satisfied with Allocation in Mature Areas

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on Thursday announced that Hydro has been allocated 12 new operatorships in the Government's system of awards in predefined areas (APA) 2005. "We are very satisfied with the award," says Lars Christian Alsvik, head of the Development Norway sector in Hydro.

Hydro has been offered ownership stakes and operatorships in 12 areas, as well as ownership stakes in a further five areas, in connection with APA 2005, an annual round of awards relating to mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf.

"The award provides a good foundation for developing our core areas of the Norwegian continental shelf further," says Lars Christian Alsvik, head of Development Norway.

"Development of our core areas is an important part of Hydro's efforts relating to the Norwegian continental shelf. High oil prices and a well-developed infrastructure create the basis for continued high exploration activity in these areas. The areas awarded are primarily additional areas close to already proven discoveries, and areas adjoining prospects we are currently assessing."

Comprehensive application
This year's application for mature areas is the most comprehensive application Hydro has submitted since the system of awards in predefined areas (APA) was introduced in 2003.

"Hydro has discovered oil and gas in six of the nine exploration wells the company has drilled as an operator on the Norwegian continental shelf during 2005. The discoveries have been made both in mature areas and in under-explored areas of the Norwegian continental shelf", Alsvik comments.

The company has also submitted an extensive application to the 19th licensing round, where awards will be made during the first quarter of 2006.

Good rig capacity
Hydro has good rig capacity for exploratory drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf. Among other things, the company has recently signed a three-year rig contract for hiring the rig "Transocean Winner", which will ensure additional capacity.

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