Burlington Resources begins oil production from Algeria's MLN field, resumes Madden field production

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 8 -- Burlington Resources Inc., Houston, Monday reported it has started oil production from Menzel Lejmat North (MLN) field in Algeria and has commissioned the field's oil processing and storage facilities.

Burlington expects MLN's initial 14,000 b/d oil production to increase to 33,000 b/d later this year, subject to regulatory approvals, the connection of additional wells in satellite fields, and the completion of natural gas compression facilities.

As operator, Burlington is developing MLN as the first of a series of discoveries on Block 405a in the Berkine basin near Hassi Messaoud, 700 km southeast of Algiers. Phase I includes development of four satellite oil fields on the block's northern portion.

Subsequent phases, which will include fields with oil and large natural gas and condensate reserves on the block's southern portion, are targeted for 2006-07.

Burlington has a 65% working interest in the production-sharing contract on Block 405a. Talisman Energy Inc. subsidiary Talisman (Algeria) BV holds 35% working interest, and Algeria's national oil company Sonatrach participates in both revenue and production through the contract.

Burlington said it also anticipates international production startups during 2003 and early 2004 of a partner-operated offshore oil development in China, and a Burlington-operated natural gas development program in the East Irish Sea.

Madden field
In addition, Burlington said it has resumed partial production from two of the six deep natural gas wells in Madden field in Wyoming and has restarted the Train II unit at the Lost Cabin processing plant. The wells and plant were shut in in mid-June as a safety precaution after localized pipe deformations were found in the sour gas gathering system.

The wells are flowing at 65 MMcfed, yielding plant output of 40 MMcfed of natural gas. Burlington said it is continuing to analyze the problem and expects to provide an update on July 24. Production capacity into the plant inlet is 310 MMcfed, with 200 MMcfed of treated sales gas capacity. Burlington holds a 42% interest in the production.

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