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Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea)

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Seadrill continues to see strong demand for modern ultra-deepwater (UDW) drilling rigs driven by high oil prices and large deep-water discoveries and increased development drilling. Specific interest, mainly from operators in West Africa and the Americas, demonstrate a trend towards higher day rates and longer term contracts.

With yard costs at very attractive levels and Seadrill’s proven track record with respect to successful new build construction the Company today announced the order of a sixth drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with delivery in the second quarter of 2014. The expected total project cost is less than USD600 million, in line with the 5 units under construction and with delivery in 2013 and 2014. The yard contract was originally between a party related to Seadrill’s major shareholder Hemen Holding and Samsung, as part of a larger shipyard deal, but Seadrill has been given the right to take over the contract at original terms.

Seadrill’s current new build program now includes 17 units: 6 ultra deep-water drillships, 1 harsh environment semi submersible, 5 tender rigs and 5 jack ups, all to be delivered in the period from Q4 2012 to Q1 2015. In addition, Seadrill has received a fixed price option for a further ultra deep-water drillship. The six drillships under construction are of the same design and will have a hook load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000 feet targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West and East Africa. Also, these units will be outfitted with seven ram configuration of the Blow out Preventer (BOP) stack and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP.

CEO of Seadrill Alf Thorkildsen says:

“With the available capacity in 2013 and 2014 Seadrill is uniquely positioned among its peers to take advantage of strong demand for drilling services with high dayrates and longer charter contracts. We will continue to aggressively build Seadrill’s earnings and further expansion of the building program is expected in the months to come. Together, these developments provide for continued value creation and an increased dividend capacity.”

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Norway: Aldous/Avaldsnes One of Largest Discoveries Ever, Statoil Says

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Statoil ASA , together with partners Petoro AS, Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Lundin Norway AS, has confirmed significant additional volumes in its appraisal well in the Aldous Major South discovery (PL265) in the North Sea.

The results of appraisal well 16/2-10 have increased production license PL265 estimates to between 900 million and 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

This is a doubling of the previously announced PL265 volumes of between 400 and 800 million barrels of oil equivalent.

It has previously been confirmed that there is communication between Aldous in PL265 and Avaldsnes in PL501, and that this is one large oil discovery.

“Aldous/Avaldsnes is a giant, and one of the largest finds ever on the Norwegian continental shelf. Volume estimates have now increased further because the appraisal well confirms a continuous, very good and thick reservoir in Aldous Major South,” says Tim Dodson, executive vice president for Exploration in Statoil.

Final data show that the oil column in appraisal well 16/2-10 is approximately 60 metres. These data also confirm that the reservoir is of the same, excellent quality as in the Aldous Major South discovery well 16/2-8. This is the main reason for the substantial upward revision of PL265 volumes.

The Aldous/Avaldsnes discovery extends over a large area of ​​approximately 180 square kilometres, and there is considerable variation in both reservoir thickness and oil column height in the structure. Additional appraisal wells will be drilled in both licenses.

Statoil will await the results from these wells before providing updated and more accurate volume estimates for the combined discovery.

After completion of the appraisal well, the Transocean Leader drilling rig will move to the Troll field in the North Sea.

Aldous Major South is situated in production license PL265 in the North Sea, and appraisal well 16/2-10 was drilled 4.2 kilometres north of the 16/2-8 discovery well.

Statoil is the operator and has a 40% interest in PL265. The partners are Petoro AS (30%), Det norske oljeselskap ASA (20%) and Lundin Norway AS (10%). Well 16/2-10 is the seventh exploration well in PL265. The license was awarded in the North Sea Awards 2000.

Avaldsnes is located in production licence PL501. Lundin Norway AS is the operator with a 40% interest, while partners Statoil and Maersk have 40% and 20% interests, respectively.

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