Abbot Wins Contract for New Drilling Facility

Abbot Group's wholly owned engineering and manufacturing subsidiary, Bentec GmBH, has been awarded a Euro 38 million contract by the Mittelplate Consortium, a joint venture between RWE DEA AG and Wintershall AG.

The contract is for the design, build and installation of a new drilling facility on an artificial island in the North Sea, offshore North Germany.

The new rig will enable the client to drill extended reach wells into reserves which have, to date, been inaccessible.

Bentec will begin work immediately with a delivery date of August 2005 and final acceptance and commencement of drilling expected at the beginning of 2006.

Michael Salter, Chief Operating Officer, of Abbot commented:

'This contract win endorses our strategy of refocusing the operations of Bentec so that it is no longer dependent on KCA DEUTAG, our principal subsidiary. I am confident that this contract will be followed by others in the coming months, and demonstrates that Bentec, with its advanced technology, is able to win contracts in a highly competitive market.

The artificial island is within the boundaries of a nature reserve and, therefore, drilling activity is environmentally sensitive. Bentec's experience in building tailor-made rigs for special purposes, together with its in-depth knowledge of regulatory requirements, will ensure that the impact on the environment will be minimal.'