ChevronTexaco Awarded Exploration Rights in Nigeria – São Tomé and Príncipe Bid Round
ChevronTexaco made operator and awarded 51 percent of Block-1
SAN RAMON, Calif., Apr. 27, 2004 -- ChevronTexaco confirmed today the announcement by the Nigeria - São Tomé and Príncipe Joint Development Authority (JDA) that its affiliate company, ChevronTexaco JDZ Limited, has been awarded the right to conduct exploration activities in deepwater Block-1 in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ). The award follows the company's $123 million bid for the block, located offshore São Tomé and Príncipe and Nigeria, which was unveiled at a public ceremony in São Tomé in October 2003.
"Naturally, we are very pleased with the decision by the Joint Development Authority," said George Kirkland, president of ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum. "This represents a new opportunity to expand and strengthen further ChevronTexaco's asset base in West Africa in alignment with our growth strategy for the region."
ChevronTexaco will be operator with a 51 percent interest in the block, located approximately 190 miles (300 kilometers) north of the city of São Tomé in 5,700 feet (1,750 meters) of water. ExxonMobil has been awarded a 40 percent interest. The remaining 9 percent has been awarded to the Norwegian company Equity Energy Resources.
Adding his comments on the announcement, Jay Pryor, ChevronTexaco's managing director for its Nigeria/Mid-Africa business unit, said, "Block 1 represents an exciting opportunity to explore a new and promising area. We are looking forward to finalizing all the necessary contract details shortly so that we can be in a position to commence exploration activities as early as possible in 2004."
Pryor also welcomed the progressive approach to governance and transparency adopted by the Nigerian and São Tomé governments throughout the bidding process.
"Like ChevronTexaco, Presidents Obasanjo and de Menezes understand that good governance is a cornerstone of good business and that it is in all our interests to make progress in this important area," said Pryor. "The disclosure of the Block 1 signing bonus is fully in line with what we have long believed and called for: that efforts to address the management of oil revenues should be led by affected governments, not imposed on them by others. We are pleased that the JDA has taken this bold step, and we stand by to work openly with the JDA in support of its future transparency efforts."
Concluding with a reference to ChevronTexaco's corporate responsibility commitment in a new country of operation, Pryor noted that the company already is collaborating with the São Tomé government on a project designed to roll back malaria and also is helping to develop programs to enhance HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness among the country's teenagers.
Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Some of the items discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements about the significance of the exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the deepwater Joint Development Zone between São Tomé and Príncipe and Nigeria. The statements are based upon management's current expectations, estimates, and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the results of the exploration program; inability or failure of the company's joint-venture partners to fund their share of project expenditures; potential disruption or interruption of project activities, due to war, accidents, political events, civil unrest or severe weather; and general economic conditions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of the press release. Unless legally required, ChevronTexaco undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Updated: April 2004