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Aker H6

October 2, 2005

Aker Drilling orders world's biggest offshore rigs

Norway's Aker ASA is getting into the offshore drilling market big time.

Back in August, Aker ASA, announced plans to form Aker Drilling to own a series of rigs under the Aker umbrella. Now Aker Drilling has awarded Aker Kvaerner a turn-key contract for the delivery of two sixth-generation deepwater drilling semi-submersibles with an option for another two rigs by 2010. The two drilling rigs are scheduled for delivery in February and October 2008. The contract value is approximately NOK 7.6 billion (about US $1.12 billion).

The contract comprises the complete delivery of the two biggest and most advanced drilling rigs in the world.

The engineering will be carried out at the Aker Kvaerner's engineering office at Lysaker and Aker Kvaerner MH's office in Kristiansand, Norway.

The assembly and commissioning will be done at Aker Kvaerner's yard at Stord, Norway. Hull construction will be handled by Aker Kvaerner's yard at Verdal with a combination of subcontracting and fabrication at own yard.

The rigs will be equipped with Aker Kvaerner's state-of-the-art Dual RamRig drilling equipment.

Aker Yards, Brevik, will perform the hull design. Several other sub-contracts will be placed over the next few weeks.

Executive vice president in Aker Kvaerner, Simen Lieungh, says, "Aker Kvaerner holds both yard and engineering competence and capacity, in addition we own the rig concept. These factors should prove extremely valuable for the successful delivery of the two rigs".

Aker Kvaerner has delivered 37 semi-submersibles of the H-3 and H-4 design which is the world's most proven rig design and have for 30 years demonstrated excellent performance on the seven seas.

The new H-6e design is intended both for world-wide deepwater operations and harsh environment. In addition to the drilling rigs, Aker Kvaerner has delivered some of the most advanced and sophisticated production semi-submersibles in the world, the Kristin platform being the most recent example.

"We intend to utilize the recent Kristin experience for the drilling rig project", says Simen Lieungh. Kristin is a semi-submersible production platform for Statoil which was completed in March/April 2005 at the Stord yard.

"Kristin was delivered fully completed inshore and on time. We plan to repeat this accomplishment on the H-6e drilling rigs", concludes Lieungh.

Contract partner to Aker Drilling is Aker Kvaerner Stord. The contract is dependent on the successful financing of Aker Drilling and board approval by Aker ASA and Aker Kvaerner.