Noble Energy Estimates 2002 Reserve Replacement at 127%
Noble Energy expects to record a full year 2002 reserve replacement rate of 127 percent of global production from all sources excluding sales. The average finding and development cost is expected to be $1.78 per thousand cubic feet equivalent (Mcfe). Excluding revisions and sales, Noble Energy expects to replace 160 percent of global production at an average cost of $1.42 per Mcfe.
Worldwide production totaled 216 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) in 2002. Reserve additions from extensions, discoveries and other additions totaled 339 Bcfe, and purchases accounted for another six Bcfe. Associated exploration, development and acquisition costs were $490 million, which included $84 million of expenditures associated with development projects in Israel, China and Ecuador where proved reserves were predominately recognized in prior years. Also included in exploration, development and acquisition costs was $42 million to pay Aspect Resources' carried interest on the Aspect Area of Mutual Interest.
During 2002, Noble Energy sold reserves of 25 Bcfe and estimates it will have net negative revisions of 70 Bcfe. As of December 31, 2002, Noble Energy expects to record total proved reserves of 2.8 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe), an increase of slightly over one percent compared to the previous year-end.
Of the 70 Bcfe of net downward revisions estimated for 2002, approximately one-half are associated with Noble Energy's non-operated properties in California for reserves attributed to proposed enhanced recovery projects. The reserves associated with enhanced recovery were recorded as proved undeveloped after a pilot project demonstrated the feasibility of enhanced recovery. However, following a series of operator changes, the enhanced recovery projects have yet to be approved; therefore, Noble Energy has removed the reserves from the proved category. Should the enhanced recovery projects associated with this revision be approved, the reserves may be added back to the proved category. The remaining revisions recognized in 2002 are associated with two older Gulf of Mexico properties, Vermillion 271 and Vermillion 279.