press release

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Acquires Additional Oil And Gas Blocks Offshore North West Australia

SAN FRANCISCO, May 7, 1997 -- Chevron announced today that it will be awarded three exploratory blocks offshore Western Australia. The three blocks are adjacent to Chevron-held blocks where significant gas or oil discoveries have been made.

"With the new acreage, one of Chevron's largest deep water portfolios is now located in Australia," said Richard Matzke, president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. and director of Chevron Corp. "Northwest Australia is an oil and gas province of great importance to Chevron, and we are excited about the new exploration opportunities," added Matzke. Chevron will acquire a 25 percent interest in all three blocks.

With the gas discoveries at Gorgon and Chrysaor/Dionysus, and the recent Cornea oil discovery, the new blocks have the potential to add significantly to Chevron's portfolio in Australia.

Browse Basin

Chevron will acquire a 25 percent interest in Exploration Permits W96-4 and W96-5, which are located in the Browse Basin offshore North West Australia. The blocks cover approximately 1.1 million acres (4,400 square kilometers) and are located 80 miles offshore. Chevron holds a 25 percent interest in the adjacent block, Permit WA-241-P, where the recently drilled Cornea wells have discovered a potentially significant oil reservoir. Delineation drilling in the newly acquired permit is planned for later this year to confirm a major oil field.

Carnarvon Basin

Exploration Block W96-14 is located to the west of the gas-rich Gorgon/Chrysaor/ Dionysus trend in the Carnarvon Basin, which could hold up to 15 trillion cubic feet of gas. W96-14 covers approximately 1.4 million acres (5,500 square kilometers) and is located 100 miles offshore Western Australia. A drilling program is currently being planned.

"Chevron's extensive experience in deep water exploration in the Gulf of Mexico is a perfect fit for W96-14, which is in water depths exceeding 1,000 meters," said Matzke.

The Gorgon and Chrysaor discoveries could expand the area's already large liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. "Only 150 kilometers from the North West Shelf Project's North Rankin Field, Gorgon and Chrysaor could help supply the long term needs of the rapidly growing Asian LNG market," said Matzke.

The North West Shelf Project, in which Chevron holds a 16.7 percent interest, is the largest resource development project in Australia, and is a major supplier of gas to industrial and utility customers in Japan and Australia.

Notes To Editor:

The W96-14 permit holders, Chevron Asiatic Limited, Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited, Mobil Exploration and Production Australia Pty. Ltd., and Texaco Oil Development Company, each have a 25 percent interest. The block will be operated by West Australian Petroleum Pty. Ltd.

The interest holders for permits W96-4 and W96-5 are Chevron (25%), Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited (Operator - 50%), and Cultus Petroleum N1 (25%).

Updated: May 1997