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October 13, 2005

Aker Drilling share issue completed

Aker ASA says that last night, two days ahead of schedule, it completed a highly successful Aker Drilling share issue. The NOK 2.5 billion (US $ 386 million) stock issue was oversubscribed at the top of the indicative price range. At a board meeting today, Aker Drilling will determine the allocation.

Aker Drilling has entered into an agreement with Aker Kvaerner to build two Aker H 6e drilling platforms. It is claimed they will be the largest and most advanced drilling platforms available. They are specially designed for drilling under extreme conditions, harsh weather conditions, ultra-deep waters, in Arctic regions, and at great distance from existing infrastructure.

"Aker Drilling and its new platform type have been fantastically well received by the market. Investors have recognized the value of the competitive advantages that Aker H 6e platforms will provide in winning drilling awards by safety conscious and environmentally responsible oil companies," says Martinus Brandal, Aker Executive Vice President for Group business development, which includes Aker Drilling.

Demand for drilling platforms is high and expected to increase further, particularly for platforms as large and advanced as the Aker H-6e. Aker Drilling's first platform is scheduled to be ready for offshore drilling in February 2008. The second platform will be ready for deployment in October 2008. Aker Drilling has an option to build two additional Aker H 6e platforms for delivery in 2009 and in early 2010.

Parallel with the private placement of Aker Drilling shares, a NOK 800 million (US $123.2 million) convertible bond loan has been issued. The bond loan was significantly oversubscribed by the end of last week. Aker Drilling has an offer of a bank loan of up to NOK 5 billion (US $770.5 million) that secures platform financing.