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    ExxonMobil employs innovative strategy to accelerate deepwater developments

    News // July 5, 2002
    Exxon Mobil Corporation has announced that it will utilize an innovative, generic FPSO (floating, production, storage and offloading) concept to accelerate the production from new deepwater fields.

    The FPSO vessel is designed as an Early Production System (EPS) and will allow the company to economically develop offshore resources with less development time between discovery and first production. Construction is underway for three EPS FPSOs for useoffshore West Africa. The first of these, the FPSO Falcon, is expected to leave Singapore in late summer 2002 and will be used for the Yoho development offshore Nigeria.

    "The Early Production System offers a significant shortening of time between discovery and oil production by as much as two to four years," said Morris Foster, president, ExxonMobil Development Company.

    "This strategy provides us greater flexibility for future offshore developments, and reduces costs by standardizing one design and utilizing nearly identical equipment from one vessel to another. By utilizing these general-purpose FPSOs to commercializeour significant portfolio of offshore developments, we are able to deploy a safe and environmentally sound production system long before custom-design facilities can be ready, allowing the resource to come on-stream in a shorter time frame."

    The flexibility and portability of FPSOs make them particularly well suited for early production operations. Through early production, the company also will gain additional data needed to validate the performance of large, complex reservoirs.

    Two years ago the company conducted an extensive contractor evaluation and competitive bidding programme to provide the flexibility to supply multiple, generically-designed FPSOs for use offshore West Africa.

    The company will also utilize an EPS for the Xikomba development in Angola and to expand production at the Zafiro field offshore Equatorial Guinea.

    The Yoho field is located in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Joint Venture acreage, Oil Mining Lease (OML) 104 offshore Nigeria. ExxonMobil's subsidiary, Mobil Producing Nigeria holds 40 per cent interest in the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture. The Federal Government of Nigeria holds the remaining 60 per cent through the NNPC.

    The Zafiro field is located on Block B, offshore Equatorial Guinea. Participants in Block B are ExxonMobil's subsidiary Mobil Equatorial Guinea Inc (operator, 71.25 per cent interest), Ocean Energy (23.75 per cent) and the government of Equatorial Guinea(5 per cent).

    The Xikomba field is located offshore West Africa on Angola Block 15. Participants in Block 15 are ExxonMobil's subsidiary Esso Exploration Angola (Block 15) Limited (operator, 40 per cent interest), BP Exploration (Angola) Limited (26.67 per cent), AgipAngola Exploration BV (20 per cent) and Statoil Angola (13.33 per cent). Sonangol is the concessionaire.

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