Statoil Says Snohvit Drilling Completed

The Transcoean Polar Pioneer has completed drilling of the 10 Snohvit wells in the Barents Sea on February 7th. The drilling operations have been performed without any harmful discharges to the sea.

"The drilling campaign has on the whole been a success, and the wells have been drilled with great precision in terms of reservoir drainage," says Thor Bensvik, drilling and well manager for the Snohvit project.

"We have drilled a total of 10 wells without any harmful discharges to the sea and within the original budget and schedule," he continues.

The Transocean Polar Pioneer started drilling on Snohvit in December 2004. Prior to the operation, the rig was modified to meet the environmental requirements of the discharge permit for drilling in the Barents Sea.

Compliance with the environmental requirements has been important to Statoil. The group has promoted the use and further development of new technology for this type of operation.

"We have achieved the good operational and environmental results through thorough planning of the work tasks beforehand and great commitment by the entire Snohvit team during the execution," explains Mr. Bensvik.

The Transocean Polar Pioneer is now finishing the completion work on the wells. The rig will then clean and prepare nine of the wells for production and one well for carbon dioxide injection. This work is expected to be finished before the summer.

The first phase of the Snohvit project covers the Snohvit and Albatross fields, which lie about 140 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest in northern Norway. The wells will come on stream when the Hammerfest LNG plant at Melkoya is completed in 2007. Statoil is operator for the development and operation of the Snohvit project.

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