The risk profile of the 2005 budget is projected to be consistent with the Company's risk profile over the last several years. Approximately 55% of the budget is allocated to exploitation and development activities, including development drilling. Approximately 30% of the budget is allocated to moderate risk exploration opportunities, and the remaining 15% is designated for high risk, high potential exploration opportunities. The Company does not include the cost of acquisitions in its budget.
Richard A. Bachmann, EPL's Chairman, President and CEO, remarked, "With the growing production profile we expect for 2005, we have set our initial budget at a modest increase over the 2004 budget. If commodity prices continue near the levels where they currently are, you should expect us to increment our capital budget through the year, as we have in the last two years. We are very excited about our prospects as we look ahead to next year, and we expect to continue our current level of activity into the first quarter."
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