Aker Exploration Ready for First Well for Aker Barents

Aker Exploration will acquire a 30-percent ownership stake in Production License 304, located in the vicinity of the Jotun field in the northern part of the North Sea. The offshore exploration company is now participating in nine licenses in attractive acreage on the Norwegian continental shelf.

"Our first exploration well will be drilled on PL 304 using Aker Barents, the world's largest and most advanced drilling rig. Drilling is scheduled to commence in December 2008. The license partners have already committed to using Aker Barents," says Aker Exploration's President and CEO Bard Johansen.

Aker Exploration will acquire a 10-percent license stake from Lundin Norway and a 20 percent interest from Endeavour Energy Norge. Following the transaction, Lundin, the PL 304 operator, will retain a 50-percent license interest and Endeavour Energy will hold a 20-percent license stake. The transaction is subject to approval by Norwegian regulatory authorities.

Including PL 304, Aker Exploration now has ownership interests in nine licenses, six of which are located in the Norwegian Sea and three in northern regions of the North Sea. The company has been pre-qualified as an operator on the Norwegian continental shelf and intends to drill between five and seven wells per year.

Aker Exploration ASA shares are listed on Oslo Axess. Aker Exploration, which is financed through a NOK 3.2 billion capital base, has entered into a long-term drilling agreement with Aker Drilling for deployment of the sixth-generation semi- submersible platform Aker Barents.

Aker Exploration is aggressively targeting new oil and gas resources in the northern parts of the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea. The company is conducting comprehensive electromagnetic Seabed Logging (SBL) and seismic surveys to select optimal drilling sites for discovering subsea hydrocarbon resources.