StatoilHydro Drills Barents Sea Duster

StatoilHydro has completed drilling of the Askeladd Beta exploration well in production license 7120/8-4 in the Barents Sea.

The well was drilled some six kilometers southwest of the Snohvit field and 150 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest, northern Norway, in a water depth of 275 meters.

Its purpose was to prove hydrocarbons in sandstones of Jurassic age that could have yielded additional resources near the Hammerfest LNG plant at Melkoya. The well was dry and only traces of hydrocarbons were proven. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The operation was carried out by the Polar Pioneer drilling rig in a safe, efficient and environmentally sound way in accordance with applicable petroleum industry requirements for the area.

StatoilHydro will have a comprehensive exploration program in the Barents Sea in 2008. Several wells will be drilled to prove new deposits that are suitable for Snohvit, as well as additional wells in new areas of the Barents Sea.

Polar Pioneer's next assignment will be to permanently plug a well at Snohvit before moving on to a new exploration well.

Snohvit Unit licensees are StatoilHydro (operator) with a 33.53% interest, Petoro AS (30.00%), Total E&P Norge AS (18.40%), Gaz de France Norge AS (12.00%), Hess Norge AS (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge AS with 2.81%.

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