Noble Energy Announces Sanction of Alen Project Offshore Equatorial Guinea
HOUSTON, Jan. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today that the Plan of Development for the Alen condensate/gas-recycling project has been approved by the Ministry of Mines, Industry, and Energy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Noble Energy’s board of directors sanctioned the project in December 2010, followed closely by the approval of all partners. Formerly known as Belinda, Alen is a liquid-rich gas-condensate field and was Noble Energy’s first operated discovery in the Douala basin. The reservoir lies primarily in Block “O”, where the original discovery was made, and extends into the northern part of Block “I” offshore Equatorial Guinea. Noble Energy is Technical Operator of the project with an average working interest of 44.65 percent.
Initial field development will include three production wells and three subsea natural gas injection wells tied to a processing platform. Produced condensate will be separated and piped to the Aseng floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on Block “I”, approximately 15 miles to the south, where it will be held until sold. Associated natural gas will be reinjected back into the reservoir to maintain pressure and maximize liquid recoveries. The Alen processing facility will be located in approximately 240 feet of water and is designed to handle 440 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas and 40,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of condensate.
First production at Alen is estimated to commence by the end of 2013 at 37,500 Bbl/d gross (18,750 barrels per day net). Natural gas reinjection is estimated to be 380 Mmcf/d during gas-recycling. The total cost of development is estimated at $1.6 billion ($735 million net).
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Progress on our lineup of major projects continues with the sanctioning of Alen. This is our second operated development in West Africa, with significant liquid production and cash flow impacts expected to begin with Aseng next year and Alen in 2013. The project team has done a great job of finalizing the overall design, and our expected production rate at Alen is now 25 percent higher than previously estimated. With full payout expected in less than two years, this is another development that delivers strong value for Noble Energy and our shareholders.”
The Company expects to recover gross condensate of approximately 88 million barrels. In addition, there is an estimated 930 billion cubic feet of gross natural gas resources at Alen that will ultimately be produced as part of Equatorial Guinea’s integrated gas monetization project. Natural gas handling capacity at Alen is being planned for significant expansion as part of the gas monetization project.
Significant capital expenditures for Alen are anticipated in 2011 and 2012. The front end engineering and design work has been completed, and the Company is currently negotiating and awarding key project contracts, including the platform facility construction and installation, as well as necessary drilling resources.
Noble Energy’s partners on Block “O” include Glencore Exploration Ltd (25 percent participating interest) and GEPetrol, the national oil company of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (20 percent participating interest and 10 percent carried interest). The Company’s partners on Block “I” include Atlas Petroleum International Limited (27.55 percent participating interest), Glencore Exploration (EG) Ltd. (23.75 percent participating interest) and Osborne Resources Limited, a company within the PA Resources Group (5.7 percent participating interest). GEPetrol has a five percent carried interest in Block “I”.
Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com.
This news release includes projections and other “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such projections and statements reflect Noble Energy’s current views about future events and financial performance. No assurances can be given that such events or performance will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, government regulation or other action, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals, competition, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks and other risks inherent in Noble Energy’s business that are detailed in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “will,” “should,” “may,” and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Noble Energy assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update the information contained herein except as required by law.
Cautionary Note to Investors — The Securities and Exchange Commission prohibits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, from disclosing estimates of oil or gas resources other than “reserves,” as that term is defined by the SEC. We use certain terms in this news release, such as “gross natural gas resources” and “gross condensate,” which describe quantities of oil and gas that may not meet the SEC’s definitions of proved, probable and possible reserves, and which the SEC’s guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. These estimates are by their nature more speculative than estimates of proved reserves and accordingly are subject to substantially greater risk of being recovered by us. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our Forms 10-K and 10-Q, File No. 1-07964, available from Noble Energy’s offices or website, www.nobleenergyinc.com. These forms can also be obtained from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.
SOURCE Noble Energy, Inc.