Smedvig Secures Three-Year Contract for West Alpha

Smedvig has been awarded a letter of intent by Statoil, on behalf of a consortium consisting of Norsk Hydro, Eni Norge, Norske Shell and Statoil, for the semi-submersible drilling rig West Alpha. The drilling assignment has a three-year duration.

Commencement of operations is in direct continuation of present operations, scheduled for February 2006. The contract value is estimated at US$ 273 million. West Alpha will be mainly drilling exploration wells on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Kjell E Jacobsen, Chief Executive Officer in Smedvig asa says: “This is a very important contract for Smedvig, which meets our preferences for long-term contracts and long-term client relationships. The contract is a milestone in the further development of the Company in these very exciting times for our industry”.