Noble Affiliates Acquires Interest in Two North Sea Blocks

Noble Affiliates, Inc. announced that its wholly owned indirect subsidiary, EDC Europe Limited, has obtained an interest in two licenses in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.

EDC has acquired a 15 percent interest from Veba Oil & Gas Hanze GmbH and ONEPM Minerals B.V. in the production license F2a. The license on the Dutch continental shelf, which includes the Hanze oil field, is expected to start production in the second half of 200l.

EDC will also participate in the drilling of an exploration well in the F5 exploration license located south of the F2a license. After the exploration well is drilled, anticipated to occur during 200l, EDC will have a 40 percent share in the license.

The Hanze field, located 200 kilometers north of Den Helder in the Netherlands, will be the first oil field to come into production in the Dutch sector of the North Sea in 10 years. A new oil platform, currently under construction, is expected to have a production rate of around 31,500 barrels of oil per day, and is expected to double oil production in this part of the North Sea. The Hanze field covers an area of 4.5 square kilometers at a depth interval between 1,340 and 1,478 meters below sea level.

Current plans call for oil from the field to be produced using a single anchor loading system and a shuttle tanker. Associated gas will be used to fuel the platform, and excess gas will be transported via pipelines to Den Helder.