ARCO, Partners Receive Go-Ahead for Shearwater, Elgin/Franklin Projects in UK Central North Sea

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10 April 1997

ARCO British Limited, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based ARCO (NYSE: ARC), and its partners have received approval from the British government for development of two major natural gas and condensate projects in the Central North Sea.

The Shearwater field, due to come on-stream in 2000, will generate 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 80,000 barrels per day of condensate when producing at capacity. The Elgin/Franklin fields, also due on-stream in April 2000, will generate 500 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 160,000 barrels per day of condensate at capacity.

The combined projects are estimated to contain just under 100 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, net to ARCO.

ARCO holds a 27.5% interest in the Shearwater project (operated by Shell UK Exploration and Production) and a 1.76% interest in the Elgin/Franklin fields (operated by Elf UK, Plc).

ARCO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike R.Bowlin said, "We are delighted to receive the green light for Shearwater, which will be an important new source of gas and condensate for ARCO and add to our already significant production in the region."

Discovered in 1991, Shearwater is a high pressure/high temperature field located 125 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland in about 300 feet of water. Gas from the field will be exported to the Bacton terminal via a $600 million, 300-mile pipeline named the Shearwater Elgin Area Line (SEAL). The SEAL pipeline will be jointly owned by the Shearwater partners and partners in the Elgin/Franklin fields. Liquids from all the fields will be evacuated via a spur line into the existing Forties Pipeline System.

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