Chevron Announces Naming Of FPSO Kuito

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Aug. 9, 1999

Signifying a major step forward in bringing Angola's first deep water development into production, Dr a. Celeste Webba, manager of finance for Sociedade Nacional de Combustveis de Angola (SONANGOL), officially named the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) Kuito in a ceremony in Singapore.

The Kuito, named after the field discovered by Chevron in 1997, is an integral part of plans for first development of Block 14, a 1,560-square-mile area located adjacent to another Chevron-operated concession, Block 0, offshore from Angola's Cabinda Province.

"We're very excited about the progress of the development project to date," said Dick Matzke, a director of Chevron Corp. and president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. "The FPSO Kuito is expected to produce first oil in the fourth quarter of 1999 at initial production rates in the range of 50,000 barrels of oil per day, increasing to 100,000 barrels of oil per day by end of the first quarter of 2000."

Matzke emphasized the short cycle time for this project. "From discovery to first oil in just over two-and-a-half years is a remarkable achievement, particularly for a project of this size. This is a testament to the capabilities and dedication of our employees, our partners, and our contractors."

After its commissioning, the FPSO Kuito will sail to the western coast of Africa where the vessel will be spread moored in about 1,260 feet of water above the Kuito oil field which is located about 50 miles offshore Angola. The field will be developed in phases with the first phase consisting of subsea wells connected to and producing into the FPSO Kuito.

Complying with the highest environmental and safety standards, the Kuito has a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day and can store in excess of 1.4 million barrels. Kuito crude will be exported via a buoy terminal designed to load VLCC size tankers. Chevron will time-charter the Kuito from its owner, Sonasing, a joint venture company of SONANGOL and Single Buoy Moorings Production Contractors (SBM).

Mark Puckett, managing director of Chevron's Southern Africa business unit, headquartered in Angola's capital of Luanda, said: "We expect this development to be the first of many in Block 14. Detailed reservoir and development studies are underway for planning the development of nearby fields.

"Eleven out of 12 production wells on Kuito have already been drilled and are now being completed; a gas injection well will be completed next month. Production drilling is scheduled to be completed early next year, and will be immediately followed by drilling of the water injection wells," Puckett added.

The Chevron executive noted that the Kuito field will be produced without flaring any gas produced in association with the crude oil. Associated gas will be used either as fuel for the FPSO, or re-injected into the reservoir.

Block 14 is operated by Chevron, which holds a 31-percent interest. The remaining interests are held by the Angolan national oil company Sociedade Nacional de Combustveis de Angola (SONANGOL), (20 percent); Agip Angola Exploracao BV (20 percent); Total Angola (20 percent); and Petrogal (9 percent).

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