Imperial Oil Increases Interest Offshore Nova Scotia

Imperial Oil Limited announced that it has acquired, from ExxonMobil Canada, an interest in three deepwater exploration blocks offshore Nova Scotia.

The three exploration blocks (license numbers 2381, 2382 and 2385) cover 474,400 hectares in the area, about 200 kilometers from the Nova Scotia coast. They were originally acquired by ExxonMobil Canada, Shell Canada and Chevron Canada Resources in a 1999 land sale, with each holding a one-third interest. Imperial has acquired one-half of the ExxonMobil interest in these blocks.

With this agreement, Imperial is assuming a work commitment proportional to its one-sixth interest -- about $15.5 million over the term of the license.

Imperial continues to hold a 100-percent interest and is operator of two additional deepwater blocks totaling 225,660 hectares. The work commitment for these blocks totals $100 million. A seismic program begun in 1999 is anticipated to be complete in 2001. Imperial is continuing to assess future plans for these licenses.

Imperial also holds a nine-percent interest in the Sable Offshore Energy Project, interests ranging from six to 18 percent in 12 significant discovery licenses in the area of the Sable Offshore Energy Project, and has interests ranging from nine to 20 per ent in a further eight exploration blocks in the Scotian Shelf area. Imperial's work commitment for these exploration licenses is $40 million in the first five-year term. In total, these licenses cover more than 300,000 hectares.