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Official press release from Golar LNG:

Shell and Golar are pleased to announce today (2nd December 2005) a five-year agreement for the time charter of three liquefied natural gas carriers.

Shell Tankers (UK) Ltd will charter the 2004 built "Golar Viking" and the new builds "Golar Asia" and Hull 2234, which will be delivered in 2006. Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd (Stasco) will become technical managers of all three vessels.

In line with Shell tradition, the ships will be renamed after sea shells: Gracilis, Grandis and Granosa.

Stasco's commercial shipping manager Gary Smith said: "Today's deal is in line with our strategy of building our portfolio of LNG carriers as well as ensuring we are well placed to take advantage of charter opportunities which will support our growing LNG business more broadly. We manage one of the largest LNG fleets in the world so this deal also enables us leverage our extensive experience of managing LNG vessels".

Golar LNG's Chief Executive Tor-Olav Troim said: "Golar has for a long time worked with the purpose of generating improved return for our shareholders by providing unique flexibility to our customers. This market related contract with Shell will lead to higher utilisation and hence improved earnings from the ships. By combining a deal between a major LNG producer and owner of uncommitted LNG tonnage we create opportunities to take out benefits which would have been difficult to achieve without this venture.
We see this as a first breakthrough in our strategy to provide flexible and innovative deals and are confident that more will follow".
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