PSA Grants Consent to 3 Operators for Manned Underwater Ops in 2009

Oseberg C Facility
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DSV Skandi Arctic
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StatoilHydro, ExxonMobil Norway and Gassco have received consent to conduct manned underwater operations (MUO) during the period of February 1-December 31, 2009.

The application for consent was submitted by SH on behalf of the Companies. The application relates to MUO to be carried out under a contract between SH and Technip Norge AS (Technip), which runs from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2011.

According to an agreement among the Companies ("Joint Venture Agreement for Subsea Services"), ExxonMobil and Gassco can also carry out MUO under the contract between SH and Technip. The plan is to use Technip's new diving vessel DSV Skandi Arctic for the Companies' MUO.

SH will carry out a number of defined operations and project tasks involving saturation diving on Gullfaks, Sleipner, Statfjord C and Heimdal. The water depth varies from 85 meters (Sleipner) to 135 meters (Gullfaks).

On Veslefrikk, Oseberg C and Grane, SH plans surface-supplied diving. The water depth her is approximately 16 meters. ExxonMobil plans to carry out surface-supplied diving on Jotun where the water depth is approximately 18 meters.

Gassco has not identified a need for own planned MUO, but previous experience suggests that a need could arise for as yet undefined operations and project tasks related to the Companies' license areas and pipeline systems.

The Companies have emergency preparedness and mobilization plans related to potential damage to subsea facilities/pipelines. In order to safeguard this preparedness, the Companies must have a pre-approved consent to conduct MUO.

The PSA will conduct a review prior to the operations if a situation should arise with undefined operations or project tasks, or an emergency situation.

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