Aker Drilling to Open Operations Center in Stavanger

Aker Drilling will build a complete operations organization for its two advanced sixth- generation drilling rigs in Stavanger, Norway. The rigs will be ready to start drilling in February and October of 2008. Construction start- up was celebrated in Dubai and at Stord, Norway, recently.

Aker Drilling plans to recruit 350 to 400 people to operate the company's two advanced, semi- submersible drilling platforms. In the initial phase, Aker Drilling's President and CEO Geir Sjoberg is seeking 25 to 30 experienced professionals to oversee construction of the drilling rigs and drive the build-up of the company's offshore organization. Key Aker Drilling administrative positions at the Company's Stavanger headquarters will also be filled.

'Qualified candidates for the positions have already shown great interest in Aker Drilling,' says Sjoberg. 'We received nearly 200 applications from potential candidates before we advertised a single job slot,' he says.

'Our business will soon have its core of leading offshore personnel who can provide the full range of operational requirements expected by customers seeking an industrial participant and partner in the offshore drilling market,' Sjoberg says. `Demand for advanced, efficient drilling rigs is high - and we are holding discussions with several field operators and oil companies regarding specific projects.'

Construction start-up of Aker Drilling's two semi-submersible platforms was celebrated recently. Steel work is underway both at Aker Kværner Stord in Norway and Dubai Drydocks. The Rigs' topsides are being built by Aker Kvaerner Stord; the hulls will be delivered by Dubai Drydocks.

Two new milestones have been reached in the build-up of Aker Drilling, Sjoberg comments: 'Construction of our rigs is progressing according to plans, and construction start-up was on time.'

Geir Sjoberg began work as Aker Drilling President and CEO in early April 2006. He joined Aker Drilling from Transocean, where he had been in charge of building up and running Transocean's activities in Norway. Similarly, Aker Drilling's Chief Operating Officer, Rune Askeland, left Transocean to become Aker Drilling's COO. Nina Lie, Aker Drilling's Chief Financial Officer, previously was the CFO of Petoro. Frederik Steenbuch is Aker Drilling's EVP Marketing.