Aker Drilling Confirms Statoil Contract

Aker Drilling today confirms the agreement with Statoil for use of its drilling unit on Halten Nordland area in the Norwegian Sea. The contract has a firm period of 3 to 10 years with possible 5 options of 2 years each. Statoil's license partners in the Heidrun, Norne and Asgard Field confirmed the consent to the contract today.

Aker Drilling have reached another milestone with the confirmation of this important contract, says Geir Atle Sjoberg, President and CEO of Aker Drilling.

Based on a five-year contract and full rig utilization, a possible total contract value will be on the order of US $885 million.

This means that Aker Drilling now has confirmed long term contracts for operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for both its rigs, under construction.

We are well underway with the recruiting of crews for the rigs, and our intention is to increase our staff to some 400 persons over the next two years. We continue to experience significant interest in Aker Drilling and our drilling units, says Sjoberg.

Aker H-6e is designed according to Norwegian Rules and Regulations and particularly suited for work in Norway. This contract on the Halten Nordland area is exactly the kind of work we are aiming for: a demand for safe and efficient operations in one of the most challenging environments in the world.

This contract with Statoil is therefore a confirmation that we have made the right decisions both with respect to the design of the units and the company, says Sjoberg.

Statoil has until 2008 to determine the contract's duration. Final day rate will be adjusted according to duration of the final contract. The agreement with Statoil pertains to Aker Drilling's first drilling unit currently under construction, which is scheduled to be ready for field operations in February 2008. Contract commencement will be immediately following delivery of the drilling unit.

Last week, Aker Drilling also confirmed the contract with the offshore exploration company Aker Exploration for three-year agreement for the second of the two identical units.

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