The Burlington-operated MLN program is developing the first of a series of discoveries made by the company on Block 405a. The block is situated in the Berkine Basin near the town of Hassi Messaoud, approximately 435 miles or 700 kilometers southeast of Algiers. The MLN Field was discovered in 1996.
The MLN milestone is one of three large international production startups anticipated by Burlington during 2003 and early 2004, with the others being a partner-operated offshore oil development program in China, and a Burlington-operated natural gas development program in the East Irish Sea. In addition, the Sonatrach-operated Ourhoud Field in Algeria, in which Burlington has a 3.73 percent participation, established initial oil production in late 2002.
"We are pleased and proud to join the ranks of oil producers in Algeria, where we have an outstanding record of drilling success," said Bobby S. Shackouls, Burlington Resources chairman, president and chief executive officer. Neil Ritson, the company's vice president, International, added, "We wish to thank our partners both inside and outside of Algeria, our many suppliers and the people of Algeria for their cooperation and support during the MLN development program. We look forward to generating rising production as we connect its numerous satellite fields, and to continuing our favorable relationship with Algeria."
Initial gross production of approximately 14,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) is expected to increase to 33,000 BOPD in late 2003, contingent upon the connection of additional wells in satellite fields, completion of natural gas compression facilities and receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. Anticipated full production would result in a maximum net rate of 13,500 BOPD for Burlington. The company has a 65 percent working interest in the Production Sharing Contract on Block 405a. Partner Talisman (Algeria) BV., a wholly owned subsidiary of Talisman Energy Inc., holds a 35 percent working interest, and Sonatrach, Algeria's national oil company, participates in both revenue and production through the contract.
The MLN Field and four nearby satellite oil fields on the block's northern portion are being developed in this initial phase. Subsequent phases of development are targeted for the 2006-2007 timeframe and are planned to include several fields with oil and large natural gas and condensate reserves on the block's southern portion.
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