TotalFinaElf To Develop Two Gas Fields Offshore Argentina

TotalFinaElf, operator of the Cuenca Marina Austral-1 consortium, announces the launch of the development of the Carina and Aries gas fields offshore Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. The consortium comprises Total Austral (37.5 %), Wintershall Energia (37.5 %) and Pan American Energy (25 %).

The development will include the installation of a platform on each deposit and the drilling of seven extended-reach wells.

The two platforms, located respectively at water depths of 60 and 80 meters, will be connected to the coast through a multiphase (liquid and gas) subsea pipeline system. The main pipeline, which will be 80 kilometers long, will link Carina to the Rio Cullen plant, where existing facilities will be expanded to accommodate the new output. Gas separated from the liquids will be sent to the Canadon Alfa plant for treatment before transport to the Argentinian market via the San Martin gas pipeline.

Carina and Aries should start production in the second half of 2003 and reach a plateau of 12 million cubic metres of gas per day.

This new investment, totaling around 400 million dollars for the whole consortium, strengthens TotalFinaElf’s position in the Argentinian gas market, which is expected to be an area of growth in the years ahead.

TotalFinaElf has been operating in Argentina since 1978 through its subsidiary Total Austral and ranks as the country’s second-largest oil and gas producer.