Smedvig to Sell the West Delta

Smedvig has today signed a letter of intent to sell the semi-submersible drilling rig West Delta to Odfjell Drilling AS, a well recognized Norwegian drilling contractor. The agreed sales price is approximately 110 million U.S. dollars.

The agreement is subject to Board approval, the buyer's inspection of the rig and approval by Norsk Hydro. Closing of the transaction and delivery of the rig are planned for March 2001. The gain on the sale is estimated at approximately 80 million U.S. dollars and will be posted in the first quarter consolidated accounts. Smedvig will be managing the rig until the start-up of a classification survey scheduled for mid-year 2001. During the second quarter of 2001, Smedvig and Odfjell will cooperate to ensure a smooth transition of management of the rig including arrangements for securing employment for the employees on West Delta. There will be no termination of employment as a result of the sales transaction. West Delta is employed by Norsk Hydro until August 2003.

"Our motivation for the sale is primarily our preference for modern and technologically advanced drilling units for harsh environment and deep waters. The sale releases capital for new investments", says CEO Christian Bull Eriksson.