The East Cameron 161 #A-3 well, located in 86 feet of water about 170 miles southwest of New Orleans, LA, was drilled directionally from an existing platform to a true vertical depth of 8,200 feet and encountered apparent natural gas pay in the target interval. Completion operations are currently underway on the well, and production is expected before the end of the second quarter. EPL is the operator of the well and holds a 100% working interest.
At West White Lake in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, the State Lease 17057 #1 exploratory well was drilled as a straight hole to the target depth of 18,500 feet and did not encounter commercial hydrocarbons. The well is currently being plugged and abandoned. EPL is the operator of the well and holds a 50% working interest. The Company expects to recognize dry hole and exploration expense of $3.9 million in the second quarter, consisting of $3.0 million related to the well and $0.9 related to the write-off of leasehold cost.
For the year to date, EPL has drilled five successful exploratory wells and two development wells. The Company currently has exploratory tests in progress at three locations, South Timbalier 41, East Buck Point and High Island A-6.
At the recent Louisiana State Lease Sale, EPL submitted high bids totaling $1.3 million on three tracts covering state water portions of South Pass blocks 26, 27, 38 and 39. In total, the new leases cover approximately 5,200 acres, and all of the tracts are contiguous with EPL's existing acreage at East Bay. The acquisition of the three new tracts completes the lease position for EPL's high risk, high potential deep prospect at East Bay known as Denali.
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