ExxonMobil Begins Construction of Erha Nigerian Deepwater Development

ExxonMobil Corporation has started construction of its deepwater Erha project offshore Nigeria in OPL 209. This prospect has recoverable resources of approximately 500 million barrels of oil in water depths approaching 4,000 feet. The Erha project has a flexible design basis that will position it for use as a strategic hub on future OPL 209 deepwater developments.

Full field start-up is scheduled for late 2005 and will include a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel tied to 24 subsea wells -- 15 production wells, 4 gas injection wells, and 5 water injection wells. Oil will be offloaded via a Single Point Mooring (SPM) offloading buoy. Initial annual average production is targeted to be 150,000 barrels of oil per day. Gas will be re-injected to maximize oil recovery and to eliminate routine flaring.

Commenting on the announcement, Rex Tillerson, senior vice president, ExxonMobil Corporation, said, "This development represents a further commitment by ExxonMobil to developing Nigeria's significant offshore oil resources. As a leading global developer of deepwater technologies, this project will also allow ExxonMobil to share these technologies with Nigerian industry to develop new production resources for future growth."

EEPNL has awarded construction and fabrication contracts valued at more than $1.1 billion for offshore facilities for Erha. The project will contribute substantial direct and indirect benefits to Nigeria through the use of local contractors and suppliers. These include: engineering, fabrication of FPSO topsides, assembly of wellhead manifolds and components, fabrication of the surface buoy and offshore piles, jointing of pipe and installation of pipe coating, marine transportation and other logistical services and components such as the flare tower and structural modules, and system integration testing of all subsea equipment.

Erha is a key milestone in the development of hydrocarbon resources in blocks operated by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited. This and other developments in Nigeria will provide substantial additions to the company's liquids production in the coming years.

EEPNL holds a 56.25 percent interest under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with NNPC. The other OPL 209 co-venturer is Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (SNEPCO) with a 43.75 percent interest.

In Nigeria, EEPNL and other ExxonMobil subsidiaries hold interests in six deepwater blocks covering 3.2 million acres. EEPNL interests in deepwater discoveries in Nigeria include: Bonga and Bonga Southwest (20 percent) located in Oil Mining Lease 118 (20 percent), Bolia in OPL 219 (20 percent), Chota in OPL 220 (47.5 percent) and Usan in OPL 222 (30 percent).

ExxonMobil has a leading position in deepwater West Africa with interest in 18 blocks totaling more than 16 million gross acres, as well as the industry's strongest portfolio of proprietary technology and is a leading developer of world-class geoscience and engineering technology.