Chevron Press Release - First Oil Flows From Congo's N'kossa Field
SAN FRANCISCO, June 10, 1996 -- Chevron announced that a milestone in oil production was reached today when the crude oil began to flow from the N'Kossa offshore oil field in the Republic of Congo. Chevron holds 30 percent interest in the N'Kossa field, which is the deepest water offshore development project ever undertaken in the Gulf of Guinea.
N'Kossa field is expected to be producing in excess of 100,000 barrels per day of 38-degree API gravity oil from 14 wells by the end of this year. The field is anticipated to reach peak production of 120,000 barrels a day in early 1997. N'Kossa's high-quality oil is comparable to Brent crude, considered a "benchmark" in the industry. The production of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) is planned to commence in November of this year.
N'Kossa is located in the Haute Mer exploration area, approximately 38 miles (60 kilometers) southwest of the Congolese city of Pointe Noire. The field itself lies approximately 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) below the seabed. Water depths range from 500 feet (150 meters) on the east side of the field to 1,000 feet (300 meters) on the west side, marking the edge of the continental shelf.
Chevron Overseas (Congo) Ltd. joined the N'Kossa consortium in 1994. Chevron participates in three license areas offshore Congo, adjacent to Chevron's prolific offshore oil production in Cabinda, Angola.
"Field development and exploration continue in all these licenses, giving Chevron contiguous participation in production from Zaire to the Gabon border," said Richard Matzke, president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc., adding, "these investments, which are substantial, are a testament to our commitment to oil development on the African continent."
Two 11,500-ton production platforms have been built and installed at N'Kossa in a water depth of 560 feet (170 meters), each designed to support up to 32 wells. A production barge weighing 30,000 tons supports all the facilities, including production equipment and utilities, living quarters for 160 people, and the facilities for injecting water and natural gas. Two storage and offloading tankers complete the field installations. One has a storage capacity of 270,000 DWT and will be used to hold the crude oil; the second, with its 80,000-cubic-meter capacity, will store LPG.
The N'Kossa consortium includes: Elf Congo (operator, with 51-percent interest), Chevron Overseas (Congo) Ltd. (30 percent), Hydro-Congo, the state-owned oil company of the Republic of Congo (15 percent), and Engen Exploration (Congo) Ltd. (4 percent).
Notes to editors:
In addition to the N'Kossa field, the Haute Mer license contains extensive, highly prospective exploration acreage. In late 1995, the Moho Marine-1 well tested crude oil at a rate over 5,700 barrels a day. The Moho prospect is located nine miles west of N'Kossa in 2,620 feet of water, and could hold significant reserves, which will be further evaluated through an additional appraisal well that is currently being drilled.
Chevron holds 29.25 percent interest in the Marine VII license, which is operated by Agip and includes the Kitina field. Seven development wells have been drilled in Kitina to date, with additional development drilling to continue this year. Current plans call for installation of the platform in late 1997, with first oil anticipated in early 1998, and peak production of 45,000 barrels per day by 1999.
In early 1996, Chevron received approval from the Congolese government to participate in the Marine IV permit as operator with an 85-percent interest. Marine IV is located in shallow water offshore northern Congo along the Gabon border. Chevron is currently acquiring 3D seismic data in the permit.
Updated: June 1996