TotalFinaElf to Receive Distinguished Achievement Award

TotalFinaElf is to receive the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award for Girassol, the company's deepwater development project in Angola, at the 2003 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), to be held this May in Houston. The much-coveted award is presented each year to a Company, Organization or Institution in recognition of outstanding work or service on a major project which has contributed to the advancement of offshore technology.

Founded in 1969, OTC is the world's foremost conference for exploration and production professionals. The annual event draws some 50,000 visitors from more than 120 countries.

'We are very honored to receive this award,' says Christophe de Margerie, President, Exploration and Production, who will accept the award on behalf of TotalFinaElf. 'Girassol set a number of deep offshore records, such as the installation of riser towers some 1,300 meters high, laying out a sub-sea collection network in 1,400 meters of water and carrying out hundreds of sub-sea connections without human intervention. It's a stepping-stone in innovation for the industry. We are a leader in deepwater projects, and the knowledge we acquired is being applied to other developments worldwide. This achievement has only been possible thanks to the professionalism of TotalFinaElf's employees and its contractors, who brought to the project indispensable technical expertise and thereby contributed to the success of the development.'

At a water depth of 1,400 meters, Girassol is also Africa's first deepwater development. Following first production in December 2001, Girassol rapidly reached its current plateau of 200,000 barrels of oil per day and today comprises 23 of the 39 sub-sea wells planned in the development. At a total investment of $2.8 billion, this project was made possible by a great number of technological innovations, such as: 1,300-meter-long thermally insulated, tensioned riser towers and submerged mid-water steel loading lines. The Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel has a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil, making it the largest of its kind in this water depth.

Girassol is the first of the thirteen discoveries made by TotalFinaElf on Angola's Block 17 in which Sonangol is the concessionary. TotalFinaElf operates the block with a 40% interest. The other partners are Esso Exploration Angola (20%), BP (16.67%), Statoil (13.33%) and Norsk Hydro (10%).

The key driver behind TotalFinaElf's policy of dynamic growth is its ongoing commitment to research, not just in offshore technology but in Geosciences and treatment processes, to improve conventional development projects as well as prepare for new technological challenges.

With this development, TotalFinaElf has demonstrated its mastery of deepwater technologies and its capabilities as one of the world's foremost oil companies. The project is the first, successful step in a series of future deepwater developments in Angola, the Congo and Nigeria that will consolidate the Company's position as a leading deep offshore operator in Africa.