Hydro Pleased with Lease Sale Results

Norsk Hydro said that its Gulf of Mexico business unit is the apparent high bidder on 23 out of 35 blocks it bid on at the largest western Gulf of Mexico lease sale in eight years.

"This sale is a precursor of the next three years' activity level in the deepwater Gulf. I'm happy with our efforts and results," said Kelly Barnes, Land Vice President. He commented that this was a highly competitive sale with 2.3 bids per tract versus the usual 1.2 bids per tract.

Hydro won all seven of its bids on the shelf (shallow water) and will be operator for them all. It is also the apparent high bidder for 16 out of 28 bids in deepwater and will operate 14 of those. Hydro has an average equity of 94 percent working interest in the blocks. The lease duration is five years on the shelf and 10 years in the deepwater.

"These acquisitions will not only enable us to continue our successful shelf activity, but will give us positions in several prospects in the Miocene and Oligocene trends of the deepwater, and a position south and east of the Norman prospect that is currently drilling," said a pleased Helge Haldorsen, head of Hydro's Gulf of Mexico Business Unit.

All of Hydro's bids are apparent high bids and subject to review and final approval by the US Mineral Management Service (MMS), which can take up to 90 days.

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