Nexen Inc. announced its 2002 capex budget of $1.24 billion, down 10.1% from its $1.38 billion for 2001. About $250 million will be for exploration programs in the Gulf of Mexico, Colombia, Yemen, Nigeria and Canada. It agreed with Shell Exploration and Production Co. to jointly explore a 1,044 sq mi area of the Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico for natural gas in Niocene reservoirs. At press time, the first well slated to be drilled under the agreement is a test of the Fergana prospect on South Trimbalier 239 and 248 Blocks, about 115 mi south of New Orlelans in 210 ft of water. Nexin will earn 40% interest in Fergana.
A further $910 million will be invested in development projects. Budget includes an investment of $525 million to sustain and boost output by 6%. Production is expected to average about 345 MMcfgd and 226,000 bopd. An additional $385 million will be invested in new development projects coming onstream in 2003, including the Gunnison and Aspen fields in deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Guando field in Colombia, the Syncrude expansion project and the Long Lake and Meadow Creek SAGD projects. These projects should add between 80,000 and 100,000 boe as early as 2006.