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Amerada Hess awarded new exploration licences in Brazil

In the second Brazilian licensing round held yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, Amerada Hess was awarded two licences for exploration blocks in the Sergipe-Alagoas basin, one of which it will operate. These are the first interests for the Company in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, which is situated off the north-eastern coast of Brazil. Amerada Hess now holds four blocks as operator in Brazil.

BM-Seal-5 has an area 1,072 km² and is located some 1,300 kms north of Rio de Janeiro, in water depths of between 80 and 2,600 metres. Amerada Hess has an 85% interest in this block and Odebrecht hold the remaining 15%.

BM-Seal-4 has an area of 2,265km², in water depths of between 60 and 3,000 metres and is located to the south west of BM-Seal-5. Amerada Hess has a 40% interest in the block, which will be operated by Petrobrás, which holds the remaining 60%.

Commenting on the awards Richard Mew, Vice President of Amerada Hess International, said "We are delighted to have won this new acreage which gives the company further opportunities in this exciting region. We believe that there is huge potential in Brazil and Amerada Hess is pleased to announce this success which demonstrates further the company's long term commitment to Brazil. We are looking forward to continuing to unlock the potential that Brazil offers."

A work plan on both blocks will commence next year with the shooting of 3-D seismic survey and exploration drilling.

Erika Coghlan, London, +44 20 7887 2479
Martin Jones, Rio de Janeiro, +55 21 559 3900
Carl Tursi, New York, +1 212 536 8593