At East Cameron 111, the #1 well was drilled to a total depth of 12,600 feet and encountered apparent natural gas pay in a single interval. EPL holds a non-operated 50% working interest in the well, and initial production is expected in early 2006.
EPL also recently drilled the Eugene Island 247 #J-3 well to a total depth of 9,600 feet. While the deeper objective was not productive, the well is currently being completed in a shallower objective. EPL is the operator with a 98% working interest, and production from the #J-3 well is expected in the second quarter.
In the Bay Marchand area, the South Timbalier 23 #CM-19 sidetrack was drilled to a total depth of 10,900 feet and encountered apparent oil pay in four intervals. EPL holds a non-operated 27% working interest in the well, and production is expected late in the second quarter.
EPL's two recent dry holes were offshore, at West Cameron 31 and West Delta 51. At West Cameron 31, the #1 well was drilled to a total depth of 12,350 feet and the objective was determined to be non-productive. EPL held a non-operated 45% working interest in the well. At West Delta 51, EPL drilled the #1 well targeting the prospect known as "Mallard" to a total depth of 14,650 feet and did not encounter commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. The well has been plugged and abandoned, and the rig has moved off location. EPL held a 100% working interest in the well. The Company said it expects to recognize exploration expense of approximately $9.5 million in connection with its recent exploratory drilling.
Onshore south Louisiana, EPL recently logged two additional exploratory successes, bringing the year to date total to seven discoveries in nine exploratory wells.
Richard A. Bachmann, EPL's Chairman and CEO, commented, "Our discovery at East Cameron 111 significantly exceeded our pre-drill expectations for the prospect, and we had a similar positive surprise with one of our recent onshore discoveries. Both of these moderate potential discoveries represent the kind of high quality prospects we continue to identify in the Gulf of Mexico and south Louisiana. While we never welcome dry holes, we take great satisfaction that we have drilled 25 exploratory wells thus far in 2005 and have maintained our historical success rate. Our exploratory program is well on track, both onshore and offshore, and we expect to continue our operational pace through the end of the year."
The Company currently has exploratory operations underway at Eugene Island 141 and two additional onshore locations. EPL also said that it expects to have rigs on location for exploratory tests at East Cameron 9 and South Pass 40 by the end of the week.
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