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 IRVING, Texas, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Exxon Corporation (NYSE: XON) announced today the dedication of a $2 billion expansion of its offshore California Santa Ynez Unit (SYU). This expansion will more than quadruple the SYU oil production to 90,000 barrels per day from one of the largest U.S. offshore oil and gas fields. With SYU, Exxon has dedicated or begun start-up on five major projects this year which collectively represent investments totaling $3.7 billion and add about 500 million barrels of oil and two trillion cubic feet of natural gas to Exxon's domestic energy reserves.
 In addition to SYU, Exxon's $1 billion Mobile Bay Project, located off the Alabama coast, is now in its initial start-up phase. Mobile Bay will produce 300 million cubic feet of natural gas in early 1994 from wells up to four miles deep. The SYU and Mobile Bay projects are joined by recent startups at the Pt. McIntyre oil field in Alaska, the second gas handling project to increase oil production at the Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska, and the deep water Zinc gas field located off the Louisiana coast.
 L. R. Raymond, Chairman of Exxon Corporation, said, "These five major projects represent major investments by Exxon to supplement petroleum production in the United States and are particularly significant since they will enable Exxon to increase its production volumes in the United States over the next few years while the industry's overall production is declining."
 The SYU and Mobile Bay Projects will directly employ more than 600 people and indirectly support about another 1,300 jobs among suppliers and subcontractors. The projects combined provided approximately 3,500 temporary jobs during their peak construction periods.
 Additional detail on the five projects follows.
 Santa Ynez Unit
 After two recently installed platforms and a new onshore oil processing plant are fully operational in coming months, production from the SYU offshore California will build from 20,000 barrels per day at present to about 90,000 barrels per day with future drilling.
 Exxon acquired the SYU leases in a federal offshore sale in 1968 and drilled a well the following year which discovered the large petroleum deposits now being fully developed. After more than a decade of working through the regulatory and permitting process, production began from the first platform, Hondo, in 1981. Platform Hondo had been installed in 850 feet of water in 1976, which was a record water depth at that time. For more than 12 years, Exxon has safely produced and transported a total of 130 million barrels of oil from Hondo.
 In 1982, the company filed with state and federal authorities for permits to expand the project. After obtaining necessary permits, Exxon broke ground in 1988 at Las Flores Canyon for the onshore oil processing plant and in 1989 installed Platforms Harmony and Heritage. Drilling began at Platform Harmony in July 1993 and at Heritage in September 1993.
 The Santa Ynez Expansion Project has a number of features that place it at the leading edge of technology. Platforms Harmony and Heritage are the second and third tallest conventional jackets in the U.S. at 1,200 feet and 1,075 feet respectively. The 20-inch-diameter oil pipeline to shore is the deepest large diameter line installed in U.S. waters. The onshore facilities contain state-of-the-art environmental protection features which include biological treatment of the produced water discharge stream and use of advanced catalyst technology to treat turbine engine exhaust gas to reduce air emissions.
 Total producible reserves, including those already produced at Hondo, are estimated at a half billion barrels of oil and one trillion cubic feet of gas.
 Mobile Bay
 Exxon's Mobile Bay Gas Project is located in Alabama and adjacent federal waters on 17 leases comprising 61,000 acres acquired in the early 1980s. The project includes three major offshore production platforms, an onshore gas treating facility and 11 initial development wells. Production began this month from the Northwest Gulf Field south of Dauphin Island, Alabama. Production from the remaining two fields, Bon Secour Bay and North Central Gulf, will begin later this year. Combined, the three fields are expected to deliver plant inlet capacity of 300 million cubic feet per day by early 1994.
 The development employed advanced drilling technology for the unusually high temperature, high pressure producing wells which reached vertical depths of up to four miles. Some of the wells were angled as much as one mile from the platforms to reach remote reservoirs. These wells are among the deepest and most technologically challenging ever drilled in the U.S.
 The state-of-the-art treating facility is designed to recover sulfur impurities in the inlet gas stream. Additionally, environmental safeguards to control air and water emissions have been built into the facility.
 Project reserves are one trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
 Point McIntyre
 Production began in mid-October from the Point McIntyre Field on the North Slope of Alaska. Initial production of about 80,000 barrels a day is expected to increase to more than 100,000 barrels a day next year. This is one of the largest U.S. discoveries in recent years.
 Exxon and the other field owners have spent about $300 million to explore and develop the field, which is estimated to contain about 340 million barrels of recoverable oil. Full development will cost in excess of $700 million.
 Prudhoe Gas Handling Project
 Another startup is the gas-handling expansion or GHX-2 project at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope. To slow decline and increase recovery in this largest U.S. oil field, Exxon and the other owners will invest $1.2 billion in facilities that will enable additional reinjection of natural gas, which is produced along with oil, back into the reservoir.
 Startup of the first phase of this project began in September 1993 and will ultimately raise overall gas handling capacity to 7.5 billion cubic feet per day, making it the largest gas processing plant in the world. As a result, production of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids will increase by about 120,000 barrels per day. In addition, the remaining recoverable reserves will be increased by up to 300 million barrels -- or about 8 percent.
 Zinc Project
 The Zinc Field about 50 miles off Louisiana in 1,500 feet of water recently began producing from the industry's largest Gulf of Mexico subsea multi-well system to the company's Alabaster Platform six miles away which began operation in 1992.
 Production capacity at Zinc is about 45 million cubic feet per day of gas, and combined production from the Alabaster and Zinc Fields is expected to reach 150 million cubic feet per day next year with total gas reserves of more than 400 billion cubic feet. Investment for the Zinc development is about $135 million.
 -0- 10/28/93
 /CONTACT: Les Rogers of Exxon, 713-656-4376/

CO: Exxon Corporation ST: Texas; California IN: OIL SU:

TS -- NY095 -- 7961 10/28/93 13:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 1993

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