press release

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Celebrates Award of Two New Deepwater Exploration Tracts

Nigeria Offshore Map

Map of Nigerian offshore tracts. Click to open.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19, 2000 -- Chevron welcomed the government of Nigeria's announcement today that the company has been awarded interests in two promising deepwater oil prospecting licenses (OPL) offshore Nigeria.

Chevron won interests in Block 250, where it will serve as operator, and in Block 214, which will be operated by ExxonMobil. Further announcements by the Nigerian government outlining the percentage interests awarded to participants are expected soon.

"We are delighted to be awarded these deepwater tracts, and we are deeply appreciative of the trust the government of Nigeria continues to place in Chevron's ability to operate safely and efficiently," said Peter Robertson, president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. "We saw Block 250 as the prize in this licensing round.

"Acquisition of these deepwater tracts is perfectly aligned with our intent to enhance our West African deep-water portfolio, and further demonstrates Chevron's long-term commitment to Nigeria," Robertson added. "We've been active in Nigeria for more than forty years -- not merely growing our business, but also being a vital contributor to Nigeria's continuing economic growth and social development."

The two new deepwater tracts cover over one million acres. The oil prospecting licenses are awarded for a 10-year exploration term. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and the designated operators are expected to finalize production-sharing contracts for the new leases within the next three months.

The awards were made following evaluation of bids submitted through an open tendering process that started last June. Chevron submitted a detailed development program, and that, combined with the company's record of successes and its technical expertise were key in consideration of the final awards.

Chevron's proposals comprised a number of components including financial obligations as well as commitments to its local communities, and outlined a structure for Chevron's continued and expanded investment support of Nigeria's social and national strategic programs.

"We are very pleased to have secured a major position in what we believe is one of the most exciting exploration plays in the world," said Ray Wilcox, managing director of Chevron's Nigeria business unit. "These new deepwater tracts lie in close proximity to the Bonga discovery in OPL 212 and to the Agbami discovery in OPL 216. We're looking forward to applying our state-of-the-art deepwater technology and our exploration expertise to this highly prospective area," he added.

Wilcox noted that Chevron currently produces 445,000 barrels per day in Nigeria and has recently announced an expansion of the Escravos gas plant and a new gas-to-liquids plant.

Note to Editors:

Chevron is one of Africa's largest operators, producing more than 900,000 barrels per day of oil and natural gas liquids, primarily from Nigeria and Angola. The company recently acquired a 25-percent equity position in an international consortium developing the Doba oil fields in southern Chad and in a related 650-mile export pipeline project through Chad and Cameroon. In May 2000, Chevron acquired 100 percent interest in the Block L exploration area offshore Equatorial Guinea.

The company is also the managing sponsor in the development of the West African Gas Pipeline Project, which, when completed, will deliver natural gas from fields in Western Nigeria to Ghana, Togo and Benin. There, it will be used to generate electricity to the power grids of those countries, bringing much-needed energy to supplement existing power generation facilities.

Other participants in OPL 250, as announced today by the Nigerian government, include Shell, Petrobras and Ocean Energy; Petronas was named as the third participant in OPL 214.

Updated: December 2000