Tullow Brings Hawksley Field Onstream Ahead of Schedule

Tullow Oil has commenced natural gas production from the Hawksley field in the southern sector of the U.K. North Sea. Hawksley, the first Carboniferous discovery in the U.K. southern North Sea to be produced by subsea technology, commenced production on Saturday, September 7, 2002, three weeks ahead of the scheduled target. It attained a sustained production rate of 165 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. The co-venturers in the CMS III project are:- Conoco (U.K.) Limited, as operator, 59.5 percent; Tullow Exploration Ltd, 14.1 percent, GDF Britain Limited, 26.4 percent. This interest was part of the Murdoch-Boulton Package acquired by Tullow from BP/ARCO in February 2001.

The Hawksley discovery well, 44/17a-6Y, was completed in July 2002 in one of five natural gas reservoirs currently being developed as a single, unitized project containing some 430 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas. The other reservoirs are McAdam, Murdoch K, Boulton H and Watt. Collectively, they are known as CMS III and are being developed using the production and transportation facilities of the Caister Murdoch System (CMS) in which Tullow Exploration Limited has a 17 per cent interest. The CMS III satellites are expected to achieve peak production in the region of 300 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. Tullow also has interests in the Murdoch and Boulton fields, which are also developed through the CMS infrastructure.

The CMS III subsea infrastructure is now in place and, as each new production well is completed, tie-in and production will be achieved within weeks. The CMS complex required extensive new and upgraded facilities, including a new bridge-linked accommodation platform, which was installed in May 2002, and tie-ins for the CMS III subsea development. In addition, in mid-2003, installation of a new compression module will double the CMS compression capacity to cater for existing and new production, and provide for future natural gas developments in the area.

Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive of Tullow commented: "The achievement of early first gas production from the CMS III project is a major milestone in the continuing development of Tullow's UK North Sea business. The Hawksley well has validated some of the significant upside that was recognized when the Murdoch-Boulton Package was acquired from BP/ARCO. We look forward to further success on the remaining development wells and commend the operator for the outstanding progress to date. Tullow anticipates that further incremental developments like CMS III can be delivered from the additional potential in the Murdoch-Boulton Package which has not yet been exploited and from six new licenses in the CMS area awarded to Tullow in the recent 20th Round."