Norsk Hydro Awarded Interest in Block 34 Offshore Angola

Norsk Hydro signed a production sharing agreement for Block 34 with the Angolan state oil company Sonangol. Sonangol has been given the operatorship, and Hydro will provide technical assistance. This is the first time Sonangol has been given an operatorship for a deep water license, and in cooperation with and supported by technical assistance from another company. The other participants in the license are Phillips, Braspetro and Shell.

By giving the operatorship to Sonangol, Angola is taking a big step toward realizing its ambitious goal to develop the company into competent national oil company and to develop the Angolan oil industry.

In providing technical assistance, Hydro will be integrated in the Sonangol project and contribute to designing and implementing the operational activities. Hydro will strengthen its staffing in Angola Sonangol and Hydro will continue the program Management and Technology Transfer, which was initiated in 1998.

Seismic data have already been collected and processed, and preparations for drilling the first well - which is expected to be finished in the first half of 2002 - have been initiated.

"Angola is one of the most important areas for Hydro's international oil and gas activities. The award of a 30 percent share in Block 34 and the role as technical operator represents a considerable step forward in our ambition to continue the development of Angola as one of our main core areas," says Torstein Dale Sjotveit, head of Hydro's operations in Angola.

Block 34 is south of Block 17 and covers an area of 5,900 square kilometers. The water depth ranges from 4,900 to 8,200 feet. Participants in Block 34 are Sonangol as operator with a 20 percent interest, Norsk Hydro as technical operator with 30 percent interest, Phillips holds a 20 percent interest; Braspetro holds a 15 percent interest and Shell holds the remaining 15 percent.