ChevronTexaco Announces First Production from Hamaca Field

ChevronTexaco and its Hamaca Project partners commemorated first oil production from the field located in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt with a ceremony attended by local dignitaries, partner company representatives and more than 200 guests. The celebration, held in El Tigre, Venezuela, marked the first phase of production with a reception, plaque unveiling, and a tour of the field. Current production at the Hamaca Field is 30,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), 8.5 degree API gravity crude oil. The oil is blended with lighter crudes and sold on the international market.

Production from the Hamaca Project will be significantly enhanced when an upgrade unit, currently under construction at the Jose Industrial Complex on the northern coast of Venezuela, is brought on-stream in early 2004.

When Hamaca's heavy crude is processed through the new unit, it will be upgraded to a lighter 26-degree API crude. At peak field production of 190,000 bopd, the upgrading process will yield 180,000 bopd of 26-degree API crude.

"Hamaca is an important component of our worldwide upstream portfolio, which will contribute to the long-term growth of ChevronTexaco over the 34 years of the project," said Peter Robertson, president of ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum.

Venezuela's Orinoco Belt contains the largest known hydrocarbon deposit in the world. The Hamaca Project, encompassing 657 square kilometers, is estimated to contain over 30 billion barrels of oil, of which 2.1 billion barrels can be produced from the reservoir over the project's 34-year life span.

"Bringing this challenging field into operation on time and on budget is an exciting and significant achievement, made possible through excellent teamwork between Petrolera Ameriven (operating agent for the partners), ChevronTexaco, PDVSA, and Phillips Petroleum," said Ali Moshiri, managing director of Latin America for ChevronTexaco. "We are pleased that Hamaca production is on-stream, delivering its benefits to our investors and to the Venezuelan communities in which we operate," Moshiri added.

Construction activities at Hamaca began in August 2000 when ChevronTexaco and its partners authorized contract awards valued at more than (U.S.) $1 billion for the construction of the upgrading facilities at Jose, Venezuela.

The Hamaca partners secured $1.1 billion in project financing in June 2001. Partners in the Hamaca Project are ChevronTexaco with 30 percent; PDVSA with 30 percent and Phillips Petroleum with 40 percent.