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HIBERNIA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES NEW INVESTMENT PLACES HIBERNIA ON SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING

 ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hibernia Executive Committee announced today that Mobil Oil Canada, Chevron Canada Resources, the Government of Canada and Murphy Oil (NYSE: MUR) have arranged to acquire the 25 percent working interest in the Hibernia project, formerly held by Gulf Canada Resources. This action returns the Hibernia project to a secure financial footing, enabling construction to proceed on schedule to meet a 1997 start-up date.
 Executive Committee Chairman Jerry King says, "This is excellent news. After the withdrawal of Gulf 11 months ago, the remaining owners and the governments of Canada and Newfoundland worked diligently to keep this challenging and viable project moving forward while we negotiated with potential new investors. Our work has been rewarded and we welcome our new partners.
 "We are especially pleased that the uncertainty has been lifted for the 2,400 people currently employed on the project, and for the many Canadians who are investing in bringing new technology to the country, and providing supplies, engineering, and equipment. We have tremendous confidence in their ability to successfully bring Hibernia into production in 1997, to the benefit of Newfoundland and the rest of Canada," says King.
 "Hibernia is a good, technically sound project that will provide a positive financial return and generate tremendous economic growth. Furthermore, we believe that once this project is on production, other opportunities in nearby Grand Banks fields will be more attractive, and their development will follow," he says.
 Under the terms of the agreement, the government of Canada assumes a 15 percent interest in the project, with a letter of intent from Murphy Oil that, after appropriate legal procedures and agreements have been completed, they will acquire 6.5 percent of the government's share, retroactive to Jan. 15. Mobil and Chevron have each acquired an additional five percent, raising their working interests to 33.125 percent and 26.875 percent respectively.
 Background:
 1965 -- Seismic testing and exploratory drilling showed that large amounts of oil lay trapped beneath the waters of the Grand Banks, offshore Newfoundland.
 1979 -- The Hibernia P-15 discovery wildcat tested oil, 300 kilometers southeast of St. John's.
 1980 to 1984 -- Nine delineation wells were drilled; eight tested oil.
 1985 -- The partners (Mobil, Petro-Canada, Gulf, Chevron, and Columbia Gas Development) begin negotiations with Ottawa and Newfoundland to develop the Hibernia field.
 1988 -- Partners sign Statement of Principles with Governments of Canada and Newfoundland. Chevron purchases Columbia Gas Development's interest in Hibernia.
 1990 -- Partners sign Legal Agreements with Governments of Canada and Newfoundland. Construction began at Bull Arm.
 1992 -- Gulf announces its intention to withdraw from the partnership. Remaining partners express confidence in project and begin an 11-month search around the world for a replacement company.
 1993 -- The government of Canada and Murphy Oil become partners in Hibernia. Mobil and Chevron each increase their interest by 5 percent.
 Future:
 1997 -- The first barrel of Hibernia crude is produced.
 -0- 01/15/93
 /CONTACT: Dave Hocking, spokesperson of Hibernia Executive Committee, 403-296-8484/
 (MUR)


CO: Hibernia Executive Committee; Mobil Oil Canada;
 Chevron Canada Resources; Murphy Oil ST: Newfoundland IN: OIL SU: TNM


BP-MS -- LA026 -- 5557 01/15/93 17:12 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 15, 1993
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