The Eugene Island 141 #1 well was drilled to a depth of 19,082 feet and encountered apparent natural gas pay in a single interval. The operator has since completed the well, and production is expected in the fourth quarter of 2005 after a tie-back to a nearby platform is completed. EPL holds a 20% working interest in the well.
At South Pass 40, the #1 well targeting the prospect known as Klondike was drilled to a depth of 10,450 feet and encountered apparent natural gas pay in a single interval. The operator is currently completing the well, and production is expected in the third quarter of 2005. EPL holds a 40% working interest in the well.
The Company also recently finished drilling the West Cameron 479 #1 well and has determined the objectives to be non-commercial. EPL is the operator of the well with a 50% working interest. After plugging and abandoning the well, the Company plans to mobilize the rig to West Cameron 455 for an exploratory test.
EPL also provided an update on its exploratory test at East Cameron 9. In drilling the Louisiana State Lease 17433 #1 well at East Cameron 9, the Company encountered mechanical problems with the wellbore before reaching the target depth. EPL has since abandoned the wellbore and expects to take a charge to second quarter exploration expense associated with the project while evaluating the possibility of a re-drill. EPL is the operator of East Cameron 9 with a 50% working interest.
In the Company's onshore south Louisiana operations, EPL has recently logged two exploratory successes and two dry holes, bringing the total for the year in south Louisiana to nine discoveries in thirteen tests. In offshore exploratory operations, the Company has logged fourteen successes in nineteen wells to date. With the recent exploratory results both onshore and offshore, the Company now expects total exploration expense for the second quarter, which includes seismic expenses and lease rentals of approximately $3 million, to be near $20 million.
In addition to the West Cameron 455 well mentioned earlier, which the Company expects to spud in the next week, EPL has two wells drilling offshore, an exploratory test at Eugene Island 4 and a development well at East Cameron 196. The Company also has two exploratory tests underway in south Louisiana.
Tropical Weather Impact
EPL said that it did not sustain significant damage to its wells and facilities from either Tropical Storm Cindy or Hurricane Dennis. The Company also said the storms did not impact production volumes for the second quarter. EPL management expects to discuss the impact of tropical weather on third quarter production volumes on its second quarter conference call on Monday, August 8.
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