Norsk Hydro Extends Contract for Transocean Semisub

Norsk Hydro has extended its contract with Transocean, Inc. for the semisub, Polar Pioneer. The contract is valued at NOK 160 million and the extended hire period will run from January 1st to September 1, 2004.

Polar Pioneer was hired during 1994 to pre-drill production wells on Troll Oil, and since then the rig has been in operation almost continuously. The development of advanced drill and well technology has helped to make Troll Oil the most productive field on the Norwegian shelf, with a daily production of some 400,000 barrels per day. Hydro currently produces oil from 98 production wells on Troll Oil, 26 of which have two or three branches into the reservoir. This helps to reduce drill costs and increases the recovery of oil reserves.

Hydro plans to have two drilling rigs in operation on Troll Oil in the immediate future in order to ensure a continued high level of production and value creation on the field.