Sakhalin Development Scheduled to Begin in 2005

An international consortium led by a unit of Exxon Mobil Corp will begin gas and oil production offshore Russia's Sakhalin-1 Chayvo and Odoptu fields in the fourth quarter of 2005. Chayvo and Odoptu would be the first two fields to begin production at the offshore development project in eastern Russia. A feasibility study led by Exxon Mobil on whether to build a natural gas pipeline connecting Sakhalin-1 and Japan would be completed in April 2002. The consortium plans to begin gas deliveries to Japan five years after it has received firm commitments for sufficient volumes from buyers. Exxon Mobil leads the consortium to develop Sakhalin-1 that includes Japanese trading house Itochu Corp . It and Japan's Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (SODECO) each have a 30 percent stake in the project.