Total Makes Deepwater Discovery at Mer Tres Profonde Sud

Total has made a new oil discovery in the ultra-deep offshore Mer Tres Profonde Sud (MTPS) block, which lies approximately 185 kilometers offshore the Republic of the Congo in a water depth of 2,120 meters.

Drilled to a total depth of 4,110 meters, the Persee Nord Est Marine-1 discovery well found six oil reservoir levels in the Miocene. The well was drilled by the Stena Tay semisub.

Following Andromede in 2000, Pegase Nord in 2004, Aurige Nord in 2006 and Cassiopee Est in 2007, this new drilling success is the fifth oil discovery in the MTPS permit. It strengthens Totalís exploration strategy in the Republic of the Congo, aimed at building an economically viable development cluster in this ultra-deepwater permit.

Field development studies for the cluster will begin once the related resources are assessed.

Awarded in May 1997, the MTPS block extends over more than 5,000 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from 1,300 to 3,000 meters. Through its subsidiary Total E&P Congo, Total is the operator with a 40% interest, alongside partners ENI Congo (30%) and Esso Exploration and Production Congo (Mer Tres Profonde Sud) Limited (30%).

Present in the Republic of the Congo since 1968, Total has operated half of the exploration wells drilled in the Congo, brought 11 of the 17 producing fields on stream and discovered 65% of the initially identified reserves. The Kikouala, Yangga, Sendji and Tchibouela developments drove the ramp-up of production in the country in the 1980s. This positive momentum was sustained over the following decade with a very active exploration strategy and continuous investment in developing new shallow offshore fields. The Nkossa field, with the largest concrete barge FPU ever built, was brought on stream in 1996, marking a major milestone for Total (operator, 53.5%) in terms of production growth in Congo.

In recent years, Total has leveraged its comprehensive expertise to enhance recovery from mature fields and stem their natural decline. It has also successfully accessed deepwater reservoirs and will bring the Congoís first deep offshore field, Moho-Bilondo, on stream in 2008. Operated by Total with a 53.5% interest, the field is expected to produce roughly 90,000 barrels in 100% per day at plateau. In addition, Total is continuing work to appraise three oil reservoirs discovered in the northern area of the Moho-Bilondo permit in spring 2007.

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