Conoco Beats Targets in U.K.
ABERDEEN, Scotland, Aug 28, 2000 -- Conoco (NYSE:COCA)(NYSE:COCB) announced today that production has begun from its Vixen natural gas field in the U.K. North Sea under budget, ahead of schedule and at a rate higher than was planned originally.
Vixen is located in Block 49/17a in the southern North Sea, 135 kilometers (84 miles) off the Lincolnshire coast. Conoco, as operator, and co-venturer BP, each hold a 50 percent interest in the field.
The Vixen development is distinguished by the speed, efficiency and economy with which it was completed. It came onstream:
-- at a cost of 24 million pounds ($36 million) -- 11 percent under budget,
-- two months early,
-- and at a flow rate of 140 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day (Conoco net 70 mmscfd) -- 16 percent higher than the design rate. Jeff Barnes, Conoco''s Vixen project manager, described it as a good example of how to develop a high quality discovery safely and cost-effectively using adjacent, existing production facilities.
"It only took 16 months from the time of discovery to achieve first production," Barnes said, "and even then it came in ahead of schedule and below budget. By any standard, this is a considerable achievement. It was made possible by a combination of the knowledge and experience gained by Conoco during many years of operating in the area and close co-operation between all parties including the operator, the contractors and the government."
Vixen natural gas is produced from a single-subsea well developed by re-entering discovery well 49/17-13 and completing a 49-degree sidetrack through the reservoir. The produced natural gas is transported by subsea pipeline 8.6 kilometers (5 miles) to the BD platform in the Viking B central complex, which has been modified to handle Vixen''s output.
From there, the gas is sent 130 kilometers (80 miles) through the Viking Transportation System (VTS) subsea pipeline to the Conoco-operated Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal on the coast of Lincolnshire, England, from where production operations are controlled remotely.
The Rotliegendes sandstone reservoir was discovered in May 1999, lying between two of the most prolific fields in the area, Viking E and Victor, both of which are Conoco assets that have performed extremely well throughout their lives.
Vixen contains 117 billion standard cubic feet of proved natural gas reserves (58.5 bcf net to Conoco). The field is expected to have a productive life of six years. However, studies indicate that with optimal reservoir management and development, the field has the potential to yield significantly more natural gas over a lifespan that may be considerably longer.
Conoco is a major, integrated energy company based in Houston and active in more than 40 countries.
Fact Sheet follows
Certain statements in this news release regarding future expectations, oil and gas reserves, exploration, development, production and project costs may be regarded as "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act. They are subject to various risks and uncertainties, such as changes in expected crude oil and natural gas prices, changes in expected project costs, interruptions of operations due to accidents or political events, and failure to achieve expected reserve or production levels due to operating hazards, drilling risks, and the inherent uncertainties in interpreting engineering data relating to underground accumulations of oil and gas, as well as other risks discussed in detail in the companies'' SEC filings, including the Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the year-ended Dec. 31, 1999. Actual results may vary materially.
VIXEN NATURAL GAS FIELD DEVELOPMENT KEY FACTS
FIELD NAME: The Vixen field was originally known as E-Plus; however, the name change to Vixen represents Conoco''s continued use of the "V" motif and its practice of naming many of its natural gas fields in the southern sector of the U.K. North Sea after historic British military aircraft. These include Viking, Victor, Vulcan, Valiant and Vanguard.
LOCATION: U.K. North Sea block 49/17a, 135 kilometers (84 miles) east of Lincolnshire, England.
DISCOVERY DATE: Discovered in May 1999 by the jack-up drilling rig "Glomar Adriatic VI."
WATER DEPTH: 33 meters (109 feet).
RESERVOIR: Rotliegendes sandstone, 2,844 meters (9,385 feet) subsea.
PROJECTED Six years, although this lifespan may be FIELD LIFE: considerably longer.
DEVELOPMENT Re-entry and completion of discovery well 49/17-13 DESCRIPTION: as a subsea producer, tied back by pipeline and services umbilical to Viking BD platform where natural gas is processed before onward delivery by Viking Transportation System subsea pipeline to Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal, Lincolnshire.
FACILITIES: Creating and installing the subsea elements of the Vixen development involves the services of several manufacturers, suppliers and contractors. The major elements include:
Dril-Quip won the contract to fabricate and supply both the subsea tree and its 65-ton protection structure (WHPS).
The subsea tree was installed by Ensco from their jack-up rig "Ensco 80" after re-entering and completing a 49-degree sidetrack development well.
Kvaerner Oilfield Products designed and manufactured the control system.
Coflexip Stena Offshore was responsible for the design, supply, installation, testing and pre-commissioning of the gas export pipeline, the umbilical, and installation of wellhead protective structure.
Viking platform modifications include installation of a new 10-inch production riser, a J tube for the umbilical, new methanol pumps, installation of subsea control and hydraulics packages, metering and topsides control for tie-in to the production separator. Halliburton - Brown & Root, with AMEC and DNV were responsible for all elements of these host platform modifications.