press release

Texaco Press Release - Texaco and BG Announce Gas Discovery Offshore Trinidad


HOUSTON, Aug. 24 - Texaco and BG plc today announced a significant natural gas and condensate discovery on the companies' acreage in Block 5a of the East Coast Marine Area, offshore Trinidad.

The discovery well, the Dolphin Deep-1, is operated by BG on behalf of the 50/50 co-venturers and is located approximately 60 miles off Galeota Point, southeast of Trinidad, in 650 feet of water. The well encountered 546 feet of net gas pay in three zones and tested at a rate of 36 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFPD) and 430 barrels of condensate per day (BCPD) on a 44/64 inch choke with flowing tubing pressure of 3,550 pounds per square inch.

Frank Chapman, BG plc Executive Director responsible for Exploration and Production, said, "Dolphin Deep-1 is a significant find and marks the fourth successful well drilled by BG on its operated exploration acreage in Trinidad and Tobago over the past three years. The timing of this discovery closely matches the needs of Trinidad's industrial and infrastructure development. The close proximity of Texaco and BG's Dolphin platform means that we will be able to rapidly develop and market these reserves."

Dr. Bruce S. Appelbaum, President of Texaco Exploration, added, "We are very pleased with the rapid turn-around time the Texaco/BG team has been able to achieve on this project from initial agreements to discovery. Specifically, the production sharing contract for Block 5a was signed on December 10, 1997; 3D seismic was acquired over the acreage in early 1998; and the Dolphin Deep-1 spudded on April 29. This kind of operating performance is a direct result of the commitment that exists among the members of the Texaco/BG team."

Block 5a is located approximately 56 miles off the east coast of Trinidad in water depths ranging from 300 to 1,300 feet. The adjacent Dolphin gas field, in production since 1996 and operated by BG on behalf of Texaco and BG, currently produces 170 MMCFPD for sale to the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago. BG and Texaco expect that the natural gas reserves associated with Dolphin Deep-1 will be produced through the existing Dolphin field facilities, allowing for the early development and marketing of the Dolphin Deep-1 discovery.

The joint venture partners for Block 5a are Texaco Trinidad Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Texaco Overseas Holdings Inc., and BG Exploration and Production Limited a subsidiary of BG plc.


BG plc in Trinidad & Tobago

BG is operator for three blocks in the east coast marine area: blocks 6, E and 5a, which are held jointly with Texaco Trinidad Inc. The Dolphin gas field, operated by BG on behalf of a 50/50 BG/Texaco joint venture, began production in March 1996 and supplies the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago under a 20-year contract. Dolphin reserves are estimated at more than one trillion cubic feet, excluding the Dolphin Deep-1 discovery announced in this news release.

BG also is the operator for the NCMA-1 Block in the north coast marine area, in which the other co-venturers are Agip Trinidad & Tobago Ltd., and Deminex Trinidad Petroleum GmbH. The NCMA-1 acreage contains undeveloped gas fields with potential reserves of more than three trillion cubic feet of gas. In 1997, BG drilled two successful exploration wells in the area to further define the Hibiscus gas field.

BG has a 26 percent shareholding in the Atlantic LNG plant at Point Fortin, Trinidad, which is currently under construction. First exports of gas to the United States and Spain are on schedule for the second quarter of 1999.

Texaco in Trinidad & Tobago

Texaco involvement in Trinidad began as early as 1913 under the name of Trinidad Leaseholds Limited (TLL). In 1951, Texaco entered Trinidad under its own name through the acquisition of the Antilles Company, and Texaco consolidated all of its interests in Trinidad under Texaco Trinidad Inc.

In addition to their interests in the East Coast Marine Area Blocks 5a, E, 6b and 6d, Texaco is one-third shareholder in Trinmar with partner Petrotrin. Trinmar produces approximately 34,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) and 26 MMCFPD of gas from established fields in the Gulf of Paria, offshore western Trinidad. Texaco also has an established lubricants, marine and aviation fuels marketing and distribution operation in Trinidad and Tobago.

Updated: August 1998