ConocoPhillips to Build New Platform at Ekofisk

ConocoPhillips has approved a plan for further development and growth of the Ekofisk Area in the Norwegian North Sea. The Ekofisk area growth project aims to increase the recovery of oil and gas from the Ekofisk Area by adding reserves of 64 million barrels of oil equivalents net to ConocoPhillips and increase the area's processing capacity and reliability. The project also is approved by the co-venturers in the Ekofisk license (PL018).

As a first step, ConocoPhillips Norway has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the new Ekofisk 2/4 M platform to Aker Kvaerner. The contract was awarded on the basis of international competitive bidding and is subject to the Norwegian government's sanction of the plan, which is expected in late May.

The Ekofisk growth project consists of two interrelated components: the Ekofisk 2/4 M platform and an increase in capacity. The Ekofisk 2/4 M platform is a steel wellhead and process platform to be located southeast of the Ekofisk 2/4 J platform, and connected by gangway with a tripod. The platform will have 30 well slots, a high-pressure separator, equipment for produced water treatment, and risers for tie-in of future projects. Ekofisk 2/4 M will be remote-controlled from Ekofisk 2/4 J. Drilling will be conducted from a chartered jack-up rig.

The company expects the steel jacket to be installed in 2004. Three wells will then be pre-drilled, prior to lifting the topsides into place in the early summer of 2005. Production is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2005.

All in all, 25 wells will be drilled during the project, and the total estimated net cost is 2,84 billion Norwegian kroner (approximately US $ 361 million). This cost estimate includes construction and installation of the new platform, drilling in the period 2004 to 2009, modification on the Ekofisk Complex and on four more platforms to increase process capacity, and a new seabed power cable to optimize electricity management and thereby reduce emission of CO2.

ConocoPhillips Norway is the operator of PL 018 with an ownership interest of 35.11 percent. The co-venturers are: TotalFinaElf, 39.9 percent; Norsk Agip A/S, 12.39 percent; Norsk Hydro A/S, 6.65 percent; Petoro A/S, 5 percent; and Statoil, 0.95 percent.