TotalFinaElf Acquires Stake in Surmont Oil Sands Project

TotalFinaElf wil acquire a 43.5% stake in the Surmont exploration permit in Athabasca, in the Canadian province of Alberta. Surmont is made up of four adjacent licenses covering a total area of 548 km2.

This permit is part of an ongoing heavy oil sands thermal extraction pilot project since 1998 (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage). TotalFinaElf is partnered with ConocoPhillips (operator with 43.5%) and Devon (13%).

In 2003 the consortium will continue to undertake works as outlined in the permit in vue of a first phase of development currently under study.

We will place at the disposal of the consortium in charge of developing Surmont our expertise as concerns heavy oils acquired notably in Venezuela where we operate the Sincor project within the Orinoco belt', explains Christophe de Margerie, President Exploration and Production. 'We believe that TotalFinaElf is well positioned as concerns the development of non conventional reserves whether it be in ultra-deep offshore Angola or in the North Sea with high temperatures and pressures'.