CNPC Makes Discovery in Sudan

China National Petroleum Corp. has made an oil discovery of 2 billion barrels in Sudan's Malut basin. Of the total reserves discovered, 600 million barrels are recoverable, said CNPC.

The discovery was made at Blocks 3 and 7, near the Palogue structure, in which CNPC holds a 41% stake. The remaining stakes are held by Qatari Gulf Petroleum Co. and two Sudanese companies.

Plans are underway to bring the two blocks into production by March 2005. Estimated production would be 8 million tons annually. When the two blocks start production in 2005, CNPC expects to raise its crude production in Sudan to 24 million tons/year from 12.68 million tons last year. CNPC's 2003 crude production in Sudan is forecast at 14 million tons.

Sudan is CNPC's largest overseas oil and gas operation. The company is involved in oil and gas E&P in Block 1/2/4 and Blocks 3, 7, 6 in Sudan.

CNPC has drilled nine exploration wells at Blocks 3 and 7, which cover a total of 72,000 square kilometers. All the wells have demonstrated the presences of hydrocarbons. One of the wells, Palogue 1, was flow tested at 5,100 bbl/day in October last year and 2,250 bbl/day in January this year.

According to information from CNPC, exploration at Blocks 3 and 7 started in 1975, when ChevronTexaco discovered 168 million barrels of crude reserves. ChevronTexaco didn't develop the reserves due to its small scale. Exploration costs at Blocks 3 and 7 is less than 22 cents/bbl, or about 20% of the international average.