Noble Energy to Explore Block 'O' Offshore Equatorial Guinea

Noble Energy's subsidiary, Noble Energy EG Ltd., has signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea covering Block "O" offshore Bioko Island. Under the terms of the PSC, Noble Energy will be the Technical Operator with a 45 percent working interest. Noble Energy's partners on Block "O" include GEPetrol (30 percent working interest), who will be the Administrative Operator, and Glencore Exploration Ltd. (25 percent working interest).

Block "O" is adjacent to the Alba field, which contains estimated gross resources of approximately one billion barrels of oil equivalent. Noble Energy holds a 33.75 percent working interest in the Alba field. Block "O" covers 1,772 square kilometers (1,100 square miles), and is located in water depths that range from the Bioko Island shoreline to over 500 meters (1,640 feet). To date, two 3-D seismic surveys have been shot on the block. Noble Energy and its partners have agreed to drill two exploration wells within the first exploration period of three years, with planning underway for the first well to spud in 2005. The Block "O" PSC is subject to ratification by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Charles Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman, President and CEO, said, "Block 'O' is a very exciting opportunity and a good strategic fit for our company. We have a long history in Equatorial Guinea and an outstanding working relationship with the government and GEPetrol. Block 'O' is a high potential block with solid exploration fundamentals. Several leads have been identified that contain many of the attributes we believe are associated with sizeable hydrocarbon accumulations elsewhere. This block has the potential to contribute significantly to our current, rapidly growing international program."