press release

Texaco Press Release - Atlantic Margin Group Begins Gas Study

FOR RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 1997

LONDON, May 14 - Three companies with exploration interests in the Atlantic Margin area north and west of the U.K. have signed a joint study agreement (JSA) to evaluate systems for the collection, transportation and sale of natural gas from potential field developments in the area.

The Aurora project, currently funded by Texaco Britain Ltd., Conoco (U.K.) Limited and Total Oil Marine plc, will examine development options for subsea pipelines, potential gas landfall sites and delivery of gas to consumers.

Announcing the agreement, which has the support of the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Project Manager Elliott Dubuisson said exploration of the Atlantic Margin is an essential new phase in maintaining the U.K.'s position as a producer of hydrocarbons.

"The area of the Atlantic north and west of the U.K. shows signs already of being an important petroleum province," said Dubuisson. "So now is the time to begin planning the long term provision that will be needed as further discoveries are made.

"Each of the three companies has significant exploration acreage on the Atlantic Margin and any gas development will require a combined approach to the provision of infrastructure. The group has made a commitment to keep other Atlantic Margin licence holders, the DTI and other relevant authorities informed of its progress at all stages," he added. Under the terms of the agreement, and subject to its ongoing success, opportunities for equity shares in any future gas infrastructure development will be given to other companies wishing to participate.

Dubuisson added that the signing of the JSA, while a step in the right direction, was no guarantee of future Atlantic Margin gas field developments.

"Each of the three companies brings its own skills to the study. There is a lot of work to be done, by both the Aurora group and those companies which make discoveries, to confirm that there are sufficient gas reserves, and to align the planning of field developments."

Updated: May 1997