CNOPB Announces Results of its 2003 Offshore Lease Sale

The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board announced the results of the 2003 Call for Bids for exploration rights in the Newfoundland offshore area which closed on December 17, 2003. Bids were received on 8 of the fourteen parcels offered. All the successful bid parcels are located in the Orphan Basin. No bids were received on parcels, 1, 2, 8, 9, 13 or 14. Parcels 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12 were bid on and won by a consortium of Imperial Oil, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco.

The Bids represent the expenditures which the bidders commit to make in exploring the parcels during the initial 5-year period of a 9-year term exploration licence. A new provision in the 2003 Call for Bids provides the option to spend up to 5 percent of the bid amount in the areas of Research and Development and Education and Training in the Province.

Subject to the bidders satisfying the requirements specified in the Call for Bids, the Board will issue an Exploration License for each of the 8 parcels in January 2004. The Licenses will be for a term of nine years, with an initial period of five years.