Smedvig Purchases Statoil's Stake in West Navigator

Smedvig has signed a letter of intent to purchase Statoil's 50 percent share in the ultra deepwater drillship West Navigator, increasing Smedvig's ownership share to 100 percent. The agreed purchasing price is US$ 175 million. Smedvig will receive 100 percent of West Navigator's cash flow from May 1, 2004. As a consequence, Smedvig's book value at transfer of ownership is estimated to US$ 168 million. The agreement is subject to board approval.

Kjell E Jacobsen, CEO in Smedvig asa, says: "West Navigator is one of the world's most modern and advanced drillships, and has drilled the majority of the deepwater wells in the North Atlantic area. West Navigator has secured long-term employment until the fourth quarter 2007. The purchase of Statoil's share in the drillship increases our exposure to the deep water, a growing market in the years to come."