ExxonMobil Adds to Bass Strait Gas Reserves

Esso Australia Resources, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, has identified further natural gas resources in the Gippsland Basin as a result of the extensive seismic, drilling and evaluation programs it had undertaken.

ExxonMobil Australia Chairman, Mark Nolan, confirmed that results from these programs had seen the identification of a further 700 billion cubic feet of gas. This adds to the estimated 6 trillion cubic feet of Esso and BHP Billiton gas resources remaining in Gippsland.

"Our understanding of the geological history of Gippsland, combined with our expertise in applying the latest evaluation and modeling techniques, including the identification of direct hydrocarbon indicators utilizing basin-wide 3-D seismic data, has enabled us to better understand the resource available in Bass Strait," Mr. Nolan said.

"The gas resource additions in Gippsland build on the announcement in June this year that saw Esso Australia Resources sign a non-binding MOU with joint venture participants (BHPBilliton, Woodside and Santos) to develop the Kipper Gas Field in Bass Strait – a field of 620 billion cubic feet of gas," Mr. Nolan said.

"These additions to our resource base provide an even more extensive foundation underpinning the long term strength and competitiveness of our Gippsland gas business in supplying gas to South Eastern Australia.

"As a result of our confidence in the substantial resource remaining in the basin we are planning to undertake a 3-D seismic survey of the Bream Field as well as continuing a drilling program in several other fields in 2006," Mr. Nolan said.

Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd operates the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture on behalf of a 50-50 joint venture with BHP Billiton.