ExxonMobil to Increase Ringhorne Production

ExxonMobil's subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Norway AS (Esso), will be increasing production from its Ringhorne Field in Norway with the start-up of a new process module on the Ringhorne Platform and associated oil pipeline to the Jotun Field FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) to develop the Ringhorne Jurassic reservoir.

The Ringhorne Jurassic Project, completed a month ahead of schedule, was designed to optimize production and processing capacity among the three ExxonMobil-operated fields and their facilities -- Balder, Ringhorne and Jotun. The project will add oil export capacity of approximately 25,000 barrels per day to gas exports, which began via a separate pipeline in October 2003.

"The Norwegian sector of the North Sea continues to represent an important component of ExxonMobil's production portfolio," said Stuart McGill, president of ExxonMobil Production Company. "The completion of this project underscores ExxonMobil's strategy of maximizing profitability through existing oil and gas production."

The project consisted of three parts -- installation of a new process module on the Ringhorne Platform to allow first stage separation of Jurassic crude, an oil pipeline to route production from the Ringhorne Jurassic reservoir to the Jotun FPSO, and a high-pressure gas pipeline from the Balder and Ringhorne fields to Jotun.

The total investment cost for both the Ringhorne Jurassic and Ringhorne/Balder Gas Export Projects was approximately US$200 million.

The original Ringhorne development consisted of a 24-slot platform and one stage of separation, with production tied to the Balder FPSO. With the completion of the Ringhorne Jurassic Project, the Ringhorne development will now utilize available processing, storage and offloading capacity at the Balder FPSO and Jotun.

Esso Norge is the operator of the Ringhorne, Balder and the Jotun fields, which are all located on the Utsira High area. Ringhorne is located 6 miles (10 kilometers) northeast of the Balder field in blocks 25/8, 25/10 and 25/11. Esso Norge is the sole owner of Ringhorne and Balder, and owns 45 percent of Jotun (other Jotun owners are Shell/Enterprise 45 percent, DNO 7 percent and Petoro 3 percent). The fields are operated by the company's upstream organization located at Forus outside Stavanger.