Sincor Facility Construction Complete

Construction work on the Sincor project in Venezuela has been completed on schedule at the end of 2001 and start-up is now underway. At production plateau, the project will produce 200,000 barrels per day of 8 to 8.5 degree API extra-heavy crude oil in the Zuata region of the Orinoco Belt. This crude oil will be diluted and piped to the Jose facility on the Caribbean coast, where it will be upgraded into 180,000 barrels per day of high-quality 32 degree API syncrude with a very low sulfur content, known as Zuata Sweet.

Since initial production began in December 2000, over 15 million barrels of extra-heavy crude oil have already been produced and blended with lighter crude oil to obtain a 16 degree API crude oil for export. With the completion of the Jose upgrader, the entire integrated chain will now be gradually started up. Initial syncrude production is slated for February 2002. The contract duration is 35 years from that date.

Overall investment in the project totaled $4.2 billion, the largest industrial investment in Venezuela ever. Work was completed on schedule, 40 months following project launch. TotalFinaElf is the main shareholder in the project consortium, with a 47% interest. Its partners are PDVSA with a 38% interest and Statoil with the remaining 15%.