Eastern Drilling Completes Private Placement

Eastern Drilling ASA has completed a private placement of a total of 13,333,333 new shares, each at par value NOK 1.00, at a subscription price of NOK 90 per share. Gross proceeds from the private placement amounted to NOK 1,200 million. The private placement was directed to a selected group of professional Norwegian and international investors. Net proceeds from the offering will be used for the financing of Eastern Drilling' option rig to be built at Samsung Heavy Industries, Korea.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the company's Extraordinary General Meeting on June 15, 2006.

The total number of issued shares in Eastern Drilling ASA will increase from 20,024,000, to 33,357,333 shares after completion of the private placement.

The board of directors will as previously announced, subject to the approval of the company' extraordinary general meeting on June 15, 2006, resolve to do a share issue directed at the company's shareholders as per June 7, 2006 who were not offered to participate in the private placement (the 'Subsequent Share Issue'). The Eastern Drilling shares will thus be traded exclusive of the right to participate in the Subsequent Share Issue as from June 8, 2006. The subscription price for the shares will be NOK 90 and the amount of the share issue will be determined by the board of directors after consultations with the managers.

First Securities ASA was lead manager and Carnegie ASA and Fearnley Fonds ASA were co-lead managers.