HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp. said Monday that it started production at the Kizomba Satellites Phase 1 project in offshore Angola.
The project will in time produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day from two large deep-water fields, dubbed Mavacola and Clochas.
It's one of several major oil production start-ups planned for this year, all of which are critical to maintaining a steady stream of cash at a time in which Exxon's massive North American natural gas operations are seeing their profitability squeezed by low prices for natural gas. Oil, which on Monday traded around $85.41 per barrel, remains much more profitable.
The other developments are the Kearl oilsands project in Canada, and several Nigerian satellite fields attached to existing production facilities.
Analysts with Simmons & Co. say the Kearl development will give Exxon, the 100% owner, 110,000 barrels of oil production a day; the Nigerian fields will add 70,000 barrels of oil a day [Exxon has a 40% stake in those fields.]
The project was completed ahead of schedule, Neil Duffin, head of ExxonMobil Development Company, said in a statement.
The initial phase of the Kizomba Satellites project ties 18 new wells to production facilities already in use tapping other oilfields in the area, called Block 15. It is expected to collect a total of about 250 million barrels of crude from the Mavacola and Clochas fields, located about 95 miles off the Angolan shore.
Exxon owns 40% of the block. Its partners are BP PLC, Eni SpA and Statoil ASA.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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