SeaDrill Limited: Extension of Potential Voluntary Offer

Seeks Pre-Acceptances for a Potential Voluntary Offer for All Outstanding Shares in Smedvig ASA

Hamilton, BERMUDA

HAMILTON, Norway, Jan. 5, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- SeaDrill Limited ("SeaDrill") has in a notice to the Oslo Stock Exchange (January 4, 2006) notified the market that it is seeking to establish before 09.00 CET today whether or not it is possible to gather pre-acceptances for a voluntary offer from 1/3 of the capital or votes in Smedvig ASA ("Smedvig").

Good progress was made yesterday, but the level of support is not yet at 1/3. As SeaDrill believes it may reasonably expect to pass 1/3 acceptance during the day, SeaDrill has decided to extend the period in which pre-acceptances can be rendered to 09.00 CET on Friday 6 January 2006.

The potential voluntary offer will be at an offer price of NOK 201 per Smedvig class A share ("SME") and NOK 160 per Smedvig class B share ("SMEB"). The potential voluntary offer will be made with the only condition being that a total acceptance level of more than 50% of the SME shares is reached. SeaDrill will only launch a voluntary offer if a satisfactory level of pre-acceptances in relation to Smedvig can be attained. Such a level of acceptances will under no circumstance be below 1/3 of Smedvig. Provided a satisfactory level of pre-acceptances, the offer period will commence and the necessary documentation will be distributed as soon as practically possible.

A combination of SeaDrill and Smedvig will create a major Norwegian based drilling company with a highly competent organization and a strong portfolio of assets. SeaDrill and Smedvig are complementary companies and it is our belief that the two companies together will create an attractive industrial solution.

Smedvig shareholders who want to support this initiative need to submit their pre-acceptances to Carnegie by 09.00 CET on Friday January 6, 2006, by telephone +47 22 00 93 00 or fax +47 22 00 94 20