In the official launch of the $3 billion Sable Offshore EnergyProject (SOEP) in Halifax earlier this week, project owners raisedexpectations for gas reserves and production. “Our ongoingtechnical studies and interpretation of the 3-D seismic informationgathered in 1996 and 1997 show that the potential exists for morethan the 3.1 Tcf we estimated as the basis for our development planapplication,” said Mobil Oil Canada President Jerry Anderson. “Thegood news is that we might expect to recover more than 3.5 Tcf.This larger potential resource base will enable us to increaseinitial production rates to more than 500 MMcf/d, depending on suchfactors as markets, well performance and operating efficiency.” Theowners originally expected 460 MMcf/d. The additional production,however, will be within the facilities design capacity of 554MMcf/d, they said.

“While we still have work to do to complete the assessments ofthe 3-D information and update computer simulations, we’re hopefulwe’ll be able to maintain these higher rates over the longer term,”added Neal McKim, Shell Canada’s Senior Operating Officer,Resources. “The final proof, however, won’t come until weexperience actual well and field performance.”

Natural gas from the Sable project will be transported tomarkets in the Maritimes Provinces and New England by the Maritimes& Northeast Pipeline starting in 1999. While SOEP has receivedall necessary regulatory approvals, final approval of a majorportion of Maritimes is still pending at FERC. The owners of SOEPinclude Mobil (50.8%), Shell (31.3%), Exxon’s Imperial Oil (9.0%),Nova Scotia Resources (8.4%) and Mosbacher Operating (0.5%).

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