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ExxonMobil's Deepwater Exploration Yields Results

ExxonMobil's Deepwater Exploration Yields Results

Having set the world's water-depth record for a combined drilling and production platform, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Hoover and Diana fields now are averaging 140 MMcf of gas and 18,000 barrels of oil per day from five wells, and contain estimated recoverable resources that exceed 300 million oil-equivalent barrels.

The startup of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico was first announced last week with the gas flowing through the recently-completed East Breaks Gathering System, an 85-mile, 20-inch diameter pipeline running from water depths of 440 feet to 4,700 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. The Hoover Diana development is located 200 miles south of Houston in 4,800 feet of water.

ExxonMobil said that the $1.1 billion project to co-develop the two fields will produce peak daily rates of 100,000 barrels of oil and 325 MMcf/d of gas. ExxonMobil is operator with a 66.7% interest in the project and BP Amoco holds 33.3% interest.

"The Hoover Diana project is a major technological milestone for producing in the deepwater environment," said Harry J. Longwell, senior vice president. He said the technology used in the Gulf will be "applied to subsequent developments around the world." He added that deepwater oil and gas is expected to account for more than 20% of ExxonMobil's production by 2010.

ExxonMobil holds the largest deepwater prospective acreage position in the industry, with 136 million acres in various places, including the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and South America, and has participated in 30 deepwater discoveries.

The Hoover Diana development is using a Deep Draft Caisson Vessel (DDCV) over the Hoover field that floats vertically. It is 83-stories high, and is nearly half a football field in diameter with drilling and production facilities. The Diana field, 15 miles west of Hoover, is a subsea development that uses five horizontally completed wells tied back to the DDCV.

Carolyn Davis, Houston

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