ARKHANGELSK, Russia(BUSINESS WIRE)Feb. 7, 2001Polar Lights Company, a joint venture between Conoco and Russian partners Arkhangelskgeoldobycha and Rosneft, announced today that the Ardalin field has passed the production milestone of 75 million barrels (10 million tons).
The Ardalin field, in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug of the Timan Pechora Basin, began production in August 1994, in the harsh arctic tundra environment, about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) northeast of Moscow.
�When production began, the field produced around 20,000 barrels of oil a day,� said John Capps, president, Conoco International Petroleum Company. �With very little capital investment and lots of ingenuity, the Polar Lights workforce was able to nearly double production to today’s 36,000 barrels a day.�
Polar Lights Company’s state-of-the-art production facility at Ardalin has become a flagship in Russia for its use of modern technology and high safety and environmental practices.
Oil from the Ardalin field is transported through a 42-mile pipeline to the Russian Pipeline System. When Polar Lights was established in 1992, it was the first Russian-American joint venture company to develop a new oil field in Russia.
Since it was founded, Polar Lights has paid U.S.$241 million to the Russian Federal and local budgets. Tax payments from Polar Lights provide more than half of the Okrug’s budget, which was deficit-free in the year 2000 for the first time. In addition, Polar Lights Company is the second largest taxpayer in the city of Arkangelsk.
Polar Lights company employs 220 people, 95 percent of whom are Russian citizens.
�The dedication of the skilled employees of Polar Lights Company, who have blended Russian and Western technology and business practices, is the key factor contributing to the company’s success,� said S. Randy Whitt, general director, Polar Lights Company.
�What makes this production milestone even more noteworthy is that our employees and contractors worked more than 1.3 million man-hours and almost 600 days without a single recordable injury. Remarkably, the zero-accident rate was accomplished during a period of considerable drilling and well remediation activity as well as major upgrade work on the production facility,� Whitt added.
Polar Lights Company’s superior safety performance has recently received a Conoco President’s Award for Safety and Occupational Health.
Conoco holds a 50 percent interest in Polar Lights; Arkhangelskgeoldobycha holds a 30 percent interest and Rosneft holds a 20 percent interest.
Conoco is a major, integrated energy company based in Houston and active in 40 countries.
This release contains forward-looking statements about Conoco’s future capital expenditures, capital projects and production volumes. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, and are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove accurate. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed herein. Among the factors that could cause such differences are crude oil and natural gas prices; refining and marketing margins; potential failure to achieve, and potential delays in achieving, expected improvements from investments in facilities; failure of future exploratory or development operations to discover economical petroleum reserves; changes in governmental regulations; general domestic and international economic and political conditions; and potential disruption or interruption of the company’s production facilities due to accidents or political events. Such matters are detailed in Conoco’s publicly available filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.