press release

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Acquires Deepwater Exploration Acreage In The Republic of Congo

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 4, 2000 -- Chevron today announced it has acquired 15 percent interest in the Mer Profonde Sud deepwater exploration area offshore the Republic of Congo.

Government approval for the transfer from Elf Congo to Chevron has been granted for the 1,300 square-mile block, located approximately 50 miles off the coast of the West African nation. The exploration area lies in water depths ranging from 3,300 to 6,600 feet. Elf Congo will continue as operator of the permit and will retain a 25 percent-interest.

Mer Profonde Sud lies adjacent to both Angola' s deepwater Block 14 and the Republic of Congo' s Haute Mer permit. Block 14, operated by Chevron, contains a number of recent large discoveries including the Kuito field, which began production on Dec. 15, 1999.

Chevron holds 30 percent interest in the Elf-operated Haute Mer permit area that contains the 70,000-barrel-per-day Nkossa field. Other discoveries in Haute Mer include the Moho and Bilondo fields that are now being evaluated for development.

" We are especially pleased to acquire such a strategic acreage position in the northern end of the Lower Congo Basin deepwater play," said Peter Robertson, president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc., pointing out that the new acreage is on-trend with the recent Chevron-led discoveries in Angola' s deepwater tracts. He noted that the new Congo acreage dovetails perfectly with the company' s long-term strategy to grow its deepwater position offshore West Africa and to maximize development of its energy resources in the region.

" Mer Profonde Sud has interpreted 3-D seismic data which identifies prospects, and we are delighted to add this to our exploration portfolio in the Republic of Congo," said Jim Pearce, managing director for Chevron Congo. He added that Chevron was proud to participate in such an experienced partnership, and felt that Chevron' s regional and deepwater expertise would enhance the success of the venture.

Elf is currently pursuing the Mer Profonde Sud drilling program as part of its first-phase exploration commitment.

Note to Editors:

Partners in the Mer Profonde Sud exploration area are:

Elf Congo (operator) 25 percent
Chevron Congo 15 percent
Exxon-Mobil 30 percent
Shell Congo 15 percent
Total-Fina 15 percent

Mer Profonde Sud map

Updated: February 2000