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Consent for exploration drilling in the Barents Sea ? Production License 202

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has granted Statoil ASA its consent for exploration drilling of well 7227/11-1S in the Barents Sea using the mobile installation Eirik Raude (pictured).

This consent concerns the second planned exploration well in the Barents Sea since the area was reopened for exploration drilling.

The consent was granted on 10 November. The plan is to commence drilling operations as soon as Eirik Raude has finished drilling for Norsk Hydro in the Barents Sea. Start-up is expected to take place towards the end of December.

The consent has been granted on the conditions laid down in the Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for Eirik Raude, issued on 15 September 2004 and with the obligations which the
The consent is furthermore granted on the following terms and conditions:
- Statoil will collect meteorological and oceanographic data and report this data from Eirik Raude in accordance with NORSOK N-002. If an edge of the ice or drift ice or an iceberg should move close to Eirik Raude, the reporting must also include information on the position of the ice, cf. Section 25 of the Framework Regulations.

- It is a condition for exceptional cuttings treatment on board following the installation of anchoring pipes with a downhole safety valve, that the technology has been tested and adapted in accordance with the activity's established safety level, and within the company's criteria for acceptable personnel risk.

This will also be on the conditions that:
- A good working environment is ensured through facilitation of good ergonomics, protection against noise that can damage people's hearing, as well as the necessary winterization / weather protection of the workplaces of those who will be operating the unit.

- The cuttings treatment system and its associated hoses and equipment will be winterized so that they function as intended under the climatic conditions that must be expected.

- Winterization of the installation and other third party equipment in accordance with the AoC.
We have sent Statoil the consent and the requirements from SFT and PSA regarding the activity.
The nearest place on land, Kinnarodden on the Nordkinn peninsula, is about 115 km away. The distance to Hammerfest is about 231 km.

The water depth at the location is 234 meters.

The activity is estimated to last for 49 days. The plan is to do a permanent plugback and abandon the well.

Eirik Raude is owned and operated by Ocean Rig A/S. The installation received its Acknowledgement of Compliance on 15 September 2004.

Contact in the PSA:
Inger Anda, press spokesperson
E-mail: inger.anda@ptil.no