China's Commission Gives Go Ahead for COSL's Acquisition of Awilco

Reference is made to the offer document dated July 17, 2008 regarding the voluntary offer to acquire all outstanding shares in Awilco Offshore ASA made by COSL Norwegian AS, with acceptance period from July 18, 2008 to and including 16:30 CET on August 15, 2008 (subject to extension).

The National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China has published an approval dated July 21, 2008 granting approval to the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Awilco Offshore, being one of the approvals from authorities in the People's Republic of China set out in section 4.3(3) (Conditions for completion of the Offer) of the Offer Document.

The combination of COSL and AWO would create the world's 8th largest rig fleet, consisting of 34 operated rigs, including rigs under construction, with operation and growth opportunities in most major international markets.

AWO's modern high-specification rigs and cutting-edge technology for offshore drilling is a good strategic fit for COSL pursuant to its globalization and growth strategies.

AWO is an international offshore drilling contractor owning and operating five jack-up drilling rigs and two accommodation units. Another three jack-up drilling rigs and three semi submersible drilling rigs are under construction. AWO also holds options for the construction of two semi submersible drilling rigs.
COSL currently operates 15 drilling rigs, including 11 jack-ups and 3 semi-submersibles while operating one leased jack-up rig. In addition, COSL owns and operates the largest and most diverse fleets in offshore China, including 75 support vessels and 4 oil tankers, 5 chemical tankers, 8 seismic vessels, and 4 geotech survey vessels.