Initial Production Begins from the Hanze Field Offshore Netherlands

Noble Affiliates Inc. announced the first oil production from the Hanze field in the North Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. It is expected that by the end of the year the Hanze production will account for two-thirds of overall oil production in the Dutch North Sea.

Production started at an initial rate of 11,000 barrels of oil per day. The first Hanze crude will be offloaded via the dedicated shuttle tanker Betty Knutsen, which is scheduled for midAugust. The comprehensive development program includes a production storage platform, dedicated oil offloading systems and gas export pipelines. The oil is evacuated using a single-anchor loading system and shuttle tanker. The associated gas is used to power the platform and any excess exported via the A6-F3 pipeline and the NOGAT pipeline to Den Helder on the Dutch coast. The partners plan to complete one additional production and one injection well within the next few months. With these additional wells completed, peak production of about 30,000 barrels of oil per day should be achieved by year-end 2001. The Hanze field, located in block F2a, is the first offshore oil chalk reservoir ever developed in the Netherlands.

Noble Affiliates Inc. through its subsidiary EDC Europe Ltd. holds a 15 percent interest in the field. Noble's partners include: VOGNL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Veba Oil & Gas GmbH with a 45 percent interest, Oranje-Nassau Energie B.V. with a 20 percent interest and Dyas Nederland B.V. with a 20 percent interest.