Statoil Gets PSA Okay to Use Ocean Vanguard on Exploration Well 6608/11-15

Statoil ASA has secured the PSA's consent to carry out exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea using the Ocean Vanguard. The consent applies to exploration well 6608/11-5, which is situated about 25 km northeast of Norne.

Ocean Vanguard is a Bingo 3000 semisub commissioned in 1982 at Trosvik Verksted AS. It has subsequently undergone a number of upgrades.

The rig is classified by DnV and operated by Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV. The Ocean Vanguard received the PSA's Acknowledgement of Compliance on July 2, 2004.

The plan is to commence drilling as soon as the Ocean Vanguard has completed a well for Esso, as well as Statoil's well 34/10-49 S.

The estimated start-up of drilling on exploration well 6608/11-5 (see map) is late May/early June 2006. The estimated duration of the work on this well is 26 days.

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