ExxonMobil begins deepwater Block 15 production off Angola

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec. 9 -- ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary, Esso Exploration Angola (Block 15) Ltd., has initiated production from Xikomba deepwater field in deepwater Block 15 off Angola. Xikomba, the company's first producing field from the block, represents the first of several anticipated operated production facilities off Angola.

Xikomba, discovered in 1999, has estimated reserves of 100 million bbl of oil, and Esso is targeting production of 80,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Aug. 6, 2003).

Located in the northwest corner of the block, about 370 km northwest of Luanda in water as deep as 1,480 m, Xikomba is producing via an early production system (EPS) consisting of nine subsea wells tied back to a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel. Xikomba represents the third use of ExxonMobil's EPS technology off West Africa and its first deployment off Angola.

The Xikomba EPS will accelerate production from Xikomba field while permanent facilities for the much larger Kizomba A project are being completed.

Contracts and subcontracts have been awarded to Angolan companies to provide in-country fabrication, logistics support, and training, development, and employment of Angolan nationals. These contracts develop expertise to support future oil and gas developments in the area.

ExxonMobil previously had announced two world-class deepwater developments on Block 15 that incorporate its "design one-build two" approach, which provides significant time and cost savings. Kizomba A and Kizomba B, both $3.4 billion developments, together have estimated reserves of 2 billion bbl of oil and a combined target production of 500,000 b/d of oil. First oil from Kizomba A is scheduled for 2004; Kizomba B first oil is expected in early 2006.

ExxonMobil and partners have had 35 discoveries in Angola on Blocks 15, 17, 31, and 32, adding to the company's resources in Angola, which now are estimated at more than 10.5 billion boe (gross).

Esso, with a 40% interest, is operator of Block 15. Partners are BP Exploration (Angola) Ltd. 26.67%, Agip Angola Exploration BV 20%, and Statoil Angola 13.33 %. Sonangol is concessionaire.

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