ExxonMobil Begins Development of Yoho Project

ExxonMobil has started development of the Yoho project offshore Nigeria. The $1.2 billion project, located in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture acreage, Oil Mining Lease (OML) 104, has estimated recoverable resources of 0.4 billion barrels of oil. Yoho will develop discoveries in the Yoho and Awawa reservoirs in shallow water depths of 200-300 feet.

A special feature of the Yoho project is the Early Production System (EPS) which will temporarily utilize a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to produce first oil almost two years ahead of full-field start-up. Production will begin in late 2002 from an initial wellhead platform producing through the FPSO and is expected to add about 90,000 barrels of oil a day.

Full-field start-up is scheduled for late 2004 and will include additional wellhead platforms, a central production platform, a living quarters platform, and a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessel, which will replace the FPSO. Target peak production is 150,000 barrels of oil per day. Produced gas will be re-injected to maximize oil recovery and eliminate routine flaring.

"The commencement of Yoho construction activities, including the first deployment of an EPS in West Africa, represents an important milestone for ExxonMobil in Nigeria," said Rex Tillerson, senior vice president, Exxon Mobil Corporation. "The ability to advance production, as we will do with Yoho by over two years, not only improves the project's economics but also meets the government's objective of increasing production capacity."

MPN has awarded construction and fabrication contracts valued at more than $400 million for offshore facilities for Yoho. The project is contributing both direct and indirect benefits to the Nigerian economy through project spending and employment. Local contractors will be used for significant aspects of the development including fabrication of jackets, bridges and pipe coatings for the main offshore facilities.

MPN holds a 40 percent interest in the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture, which has a current production capacity of approximately 650,000 barrels per day of petroleum liquids. The Federal Government of Nigeria holds the remaining 60 percent interest through the NNPC.

In Nigeria, ExxonMobil subsidiaries hold interests in six deepwater blocks covering 3.2 million acres. Deepwater discoveries in Nigeria include Erha located in OPL 209 (56.25 percent interest), Bonga and Bonga Southwest in OML 118 (20 percent interest), Bolia in OPL 219 (20 percent interest), Chota in OPL 220 (47.5 percent interest) and Usan in OPL 222 (30 percent interest).


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