More Oil Means More Drilling for Benita

Noble Block "I", Equatorial Guinea
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Songa Saturn
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Noble Energy announced that the Benita I-2 appraisal well in Block I offshore Equatorial Guinea has discovered oil and gas. Drilled to a total depth of 10,580 feet, the I-2 well detected approximately 148 feet of net pay, which includes 115 feet of net oil pay below a calculated 33 feet of net gas pay.

“We have now confirmed with this latest well the presence of significant oil resources in addition to the previously discovered gas and condensate resources in this basin,” said Noble Energy’s Chairman, President and CEO Charles D. Davidson. “We plan to proceed with an aggressive program to further define the resources in this area such that an optimal development program may be designed.”

With a preliminary PVT analysis revealing a crude oil gravity of 32°, Noble Energy has decided to postpone testing of the I-2 well. Instead, the company plans to hire an additional drilling rig capable of further appraisal drilling downdip in the Benita oil column, which is in deeper water. The company anticipates a rig becoming available to drill the additional Benita appraisal well in either late 2007 or the first quarter of 2008.

The Songa Saturn, the rig that drilled the I-2, is moving to another prospect location on Block I.

Preliminary information points to the I-2 well offering a similar reservoir quality to that encountered at the I-1 well, the company’s first discovery in the area. The I-1 well discovered a very high quality Miocene reservoir with 135 feet of net hydrocarbon pay with flow rates yielding 1,038 b/d of condensate and 34.3 MMcf/d.

Located 26 miles east of Bioko Island in about 3,120 feet of water, the I-2 appraisal well is just less than 2 miles southwest of the I-1 well, the original Benita discovery in Block I.

Noble Energy is the technical operator of Block I with 40 percent interest. Other companies with interest in Block I include administrative operator Atlas Petroleum International Limited with 29 percent, Glencore Exploration Ltd. with 25 percent and Osborne Resources Limited with 6 percent. The state-owned GEPetrol holds a 5 percent carried interest once commerciality has been determined.

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