Shell Awarded Exploration Blocks in Norwegian 18th Round

Shell reports that the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has awarded Shell two operatorships and two partnerships in the 18th offshore licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The awarded licenses are all in deepwater areas of the Norwegian Sea off the coast of mid-Norway. The 18th offshore licensing round was one of the largest in the country's history, with 95 blocks on offer. Shell and Statoil declared an Area of Mutual Interest in the deepwater prospects in the Norwegian Sea, and submitted a joint application in the licensing round.

Tom Botts, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Exploration and Production in Europe, said today: "We are very satisfied having been awarded operatorships and shares in our prioritized blocks. Our joint application with Statoil seems to have been well received by the Government, and I am very proud of the contribution by all colleagues in both companies. We will now work with our license partners to plan and execute the work program of further activities."

Rien Herber, Exploration Director of Shell Exploration and Production in Europe, said: "Exploring these blocks will be a great challenge, since much of the acreage is relatively high risk. However we believe that the deepwater Atlantic margin is still an area of considerable potential, where we can harness the world-class expertise that Shell has gained from developing deepwater projects right around the world. Europe is a heartland for Shell Exploration and Production and we intend to grow our business here."

Shell has already started negotiations with seismic contractors and will now discuss acquisition contract awards with its license partners. Shell intends to mobilize a vessel for seismic acquisition this summer, accelerating exploration of the deepwater area.

Block 6603/12; 6604/7, 8 and 10: Shell as operator with 60% and Statoil with 40%

Block 6304/6: Shell as operator with 40%; Statoil with 40% and Norsk Hydro with 20%

Block 6406/7 and 8: Total as operator with 40%; Shell with 20%; Statoil with 20% and ENI with 20%

Block 6605/1 and 4: Statoil as operator with 40%; Gaz de France with 30%; Shell with 10% and SDOE with 20%