Det Norske Encouraged by '09 Exploration Program, to Operate 9 Wells
2009 will be an exciting year for Det norske oljeselskap ASA. At the beginning of the year, the Company will have NOK two billion available in cash, after the sale of license interests in Goliat and Yme. During the year, Det norske will be the operator of nine wells, and in total participate in 12-14 exploration wells.
The exploration programme is financed independently of the sales revenue from Goliat and Yme, with a budget of NOK 1,4 billion. The high level of activity consolidates Det norske's position as the most competitive Company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Approaching 2009, Det norske has no long term interest-bearing debt, and NOK two billion in cash and cash equivalents. With revenue from production, the Company will have financial muscle to do business for many years to come.
Vidar B. Larsen is Det norske's VP Business Development. He is pleased that the sale of licenses in Goliat and Yme now is approved by the authorities. "Even though we have sold off our licenses, it is not because we do not believe in these projects. According to our strategy, we have chosen to prioritize other projects and the search for new discoveries. We are concentrating our efforts in areas where we can create greatest value for society. This includes areas where the company is facing important tasks, as in Froy, Jotun and Draupne, and further exploration in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea."
Larsen points to the fact that the value of good licenses is not affected in a considerable way by the sharp decline in oil prices, nor from the financial crisis. "The oil industry is by nature a long-term business, and can therefore maintain high operational activity in a downward economic trend. This is at least our competitive attitude. At the same time, the sales also illustrate the assets in Det norske's portfolio."
Det norske, in 2009, has an extensive exploration program. The company will operate nine exploration wells, and in total participate in 12-14 exploration wells. The cost of the exploration program will be NOK 1,4 billion and is already fully financed. The first well is Freke, in early January. The plan, as of today, is to follow with Eitri, Struten and Fongen. Later, in the autumn, Jetta is on the agenda. Bredford Dolphin and Deep Sea Delta are both drilling for Det norske. In summer Aker Barents will start with Geitfjellet as its first operation.
Anton Tronstad, VP Drilling and Well Operations, commented, "I look forward to a year with high drilling activity. We are experienced operators, and the activities in 2009 confirm our position as an efficient organization. It is important to confirm our worth and assets through discoveries. The extensive exploration program may confirm this."
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