ExxonMobil Uses Innovative Strategy to Accelerate Deepwater Oil Development

ExxonMobil Corporation will utilize an innovative, generic FPSO 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 use offshore 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 commercialize our 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 program 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.

ExxonMobil is a leader in the discovery and development of deepwater hydrocarbon resources in West Africa where it has interests in 19 blocks totaling 18 million gross acres. The company has a leading position in nearly all the major exploration and production areas in the world, the industry's strongest portfolio of proprietary technology and is the leading developer of world-class geoscience and engineering technology.


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