Production Commences from New North Sea Gas Field

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4 Dec 2002

Tullow Oil plc (“Tullow”), the independent oil and gas exploration, development and production company, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Tullow Oil UK Limited (“TOUK”), and its co-venturers, Conoco (U.K.) Limited and GDF Britain Limited, have begun natural gas production from the Murdoch K field in the southern sector of the U.K. North Sea, some 115 miles north east of Lincolnshire.

Murdoch K, the second Carboniferous field to be produced as part of the CMS III subsea based development, began producing on 3rd December. It attained a production rate of 204 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day (mmscfd) on test, which is above the design intent.
Tullow Oil UK Limited (TOUK) holds a 14.1 percent interest in the field. Conoco (U.K.) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ConocoPhillips operates the field with 59.5 percent, and GDF Britain Limited holds 26.4 percent.

The Murdoch K well, 44/22a-10Y, was a sidetrack of the March 2001 discovery well. The field is one of five natural gas reservoirs currently being developed by the consortium as a single, unitised project containing some 430 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas.

The other fields are Hawksley, McAdam, Boulton H and Watt. Collectively, they are known as CMS III because they are being developed using the production and transportation facilities of the Caister Murdoch System (CMS). The Hawksley field was brought on stream on 7th September, at a sustained production rate of 170 mmscfd. The current combined CMS III production rate is 300 mmscfd from two wells.

The satellite development comprises: subsea production centres for each reservoir, interconnecting pipelines, service umbilicals and control systems linked back to the CMS facilities located at the Murdoch field. The subsea infrastructure is now in place, and as each new production well is completed, tie-in and production will be achieved within weeks.

Participants in CMS are ConocoPhillips (operator), Consort Caister Limited, GDF Britain Limited and Tullow Oil UK Limited. The complex required extensive new and upgraded facilities, including a new bridge-linked accommodation platform, which was installed in May 2002, and tie-ins for the CMS III subsea development.

In addition, in mid-2003, installation of a new compression module will double the CMS compression capacity for existing and new production, and provide for future natural gas developments in the area. Produced natural gas is transported from CMS by subsea pipeline to the Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal on the Lincolnshire coast.

The third development well is currently drilling on the McAdam field, and production from this well is expected in the first quarter of 2003.

Aidan Heavey, Tullow’s Chief Executive commented:

“ We are extremely pleased with the exceptionally high productivity achieved from the first two producing wells on CMSIII, and the initial indications are that the reserves in these two fields will be at the upper end of our expectations.”

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