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Consent to conduct exploration drilling in the Barents Sea - well 7226/2-1

StatoilHydro has received consent to conduct exploration drilling of well 7226/2-1 (Ververis) using the mobile drilling facility Polar Pioneer.

Well 7226/2-1 is part of production license 395 and is located 193 km north of the North Cape.  The distance to Bjørnøya is 285 km.

The well has the following geographical coordinates:

N 72° 53' 31.40",  E 26° 35' 38.99". Water depth at the site is 347 m.

The Polar Pioneer is operated by Transocean Offshore. The facility received the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) in May 2004.

The plan is to commence drilling as soon as the Polar Pioneer has completed a drilling operation on Tornerose (link). Estimated start-up of drilling is at the beginning of May 2008.  The operation will have a duration of 53 days.