Statoil Gets OK from PSA for Exploration Wells

Statoil ASA has secured consent to carry out exploration drilling with the Eirik Raude and West Alpha in the Norwegian Sea.

The Eirik Raude will drill exploration well 6403/6-1, which is located 245 km northwest of Kristiansund. The well is part of Production License 322.

The purpose of this drilling operation is to investigate the Edvarda prospect's hydrocarbon potential in sandstone from the Campanian (Cretaceous) period at a depth of approx. 3110 - 3190 m.

The plan calls for drilling to start in mid-March 2006. The drilling operation is expected to last 88 days. No decision has been made as to whether or not the well will be tested. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The West Alpha will drill exploration well 6506/11-8 in Production License 134B. The well is located in the Norwegian Sea, 14 km northwest of the Asgard A facility.

The purpose of the drilling operation is to prove sufficient hydrocarbon volumes in the Garn and Ile formations; to explore potentially better reservoir properties further south on the structure; to reduce depth uncertainties and data collection.

The plan is to commence this drilling activity upon completion of drilling on the Kristin field, which is expected to be in early March 2006. The operation is expected to take 92 days, with an additional up to 40 days if a production test is implemented.

The well will be permanently plugged upon completion of this drilling activity.

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