Aker Eyes North Sea Licenses

Aker Exploration has entered into agreements with the international oil company Eni Norge to acquire ownership interests in two licenses in the vicinity of the Asgard field. The agreements further strengthen Aker Exploration's position in the Norwegian Sea.

Aker Exploration now has a portfolio of ownership interests in five licenses. Aker Exploration's goal is to drill between five and seven wells annually, starting in November 2008.

"We are positioning ourselves in a part of the Norwegian Sea where hydrocarbon resources have already been identified," said Aker Exploration President and CEO Bard Johansen. "Our four licenses in the Norwegian Sea are in the vicinity of the producing fields Asgard and Draugen."

Aker Exploration will acquire 30% of Eni Norge's 100% ownership of license 259, and it has committed a rig slot with the Aker Barents drilling rig. Further, Aker Exploration will acquire the whole of Eni Norge's 55% ownership interest in license 256.

The two licenses comprise blocks located west of Asgard in the Norwegian Sea.

Eni Norge is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian energy company Eni Norge.

"Aker Exploration has entered into strategically important agreements with Eni, Hydro, Talisman Energy, and Pertra. These agreements confirm the attractiveness of the company's business model to large and small, Norwegian and international organizations," said Johansen. "We are reinforcing our position in the northern regions of the Norwegian Continental Shelf."

"Aker Exploration's license stakes in the Norwegian Sea are ideal for the deployment of Aker Barents, the world's largest, most advanced drilling rig," he added. "The semi-submersible platform is built for year-round drilling under harsh weather conditions."

"Aker Exploration is aggressively targeting northern waters as an oil and exploration company with a difference. Our objective is to become a recognized operator," he said.

Aker Exploration is pre-qualified as a licensee on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and has applied to the Norwegian authorities to be pre-qualified as an operator. The company has a NOK 3.2 billion capital base. Aker Exploration has entered into a long-term drilling agreement with Aker Drilling for deployment of Aker Barents, starting October 31, 2008. Aker Exploration is conducting comprehensive surveys to identify offshore hydrocarbon resources using both electromagnetic Seabed Logging and seismic data.

Aker Exploration's transactions with Eni Norge are contingent upon approval by Norwegian regulatory authorities.

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