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Consent to conduct exploration drilling with Aker Barents – well 6603/5-1S

Consent: A/S Norske Shell (Shell) has received consent to conduct exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea with the mobile drilling facility Aker Barents.

By issuing a consent, the HSE authorities indicate that they are confident the company can work in line with the regulations and with the information provided in its application.

The regulator determines in each case how extensive and detailed a consideration it will give to the request for a consent.

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The consent applies to the drilling of exploration well 6603/5-1S, which is part of production licence 392.

The well is located about 400 kilometres west of Sandnessjøen (see map) and has the following geographical coordinates:

N 66°34’33.2”, E 3°32’46.1”.

The water depth at the site is about 1452 metres.

The drilling will start between 1 May and 1 September 2010 and has an expected duration of 122 days.

The Aker Barents is a so-called sixth generation semi-submersible drilling facility constructed in accordance with the H-6e concept for drilling operations at water depths of up to 3000 metres and in arctic environments.

The facility was delivered newly built in the second quarter of 2009, built by Aker Solutions at the Stord shipyard in Norge.

Aker Barents received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) in July 2009 (link). The facility is operated by Aker Drilling Operations AS.

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