EPL Ends 2005 Drilling Program with a Discovery at Greater Bay Marchand
Energy Partners, Ltd. concluded its 2005 exploratory program with a discovery in the Greater Bay Marchand field, the South Timbalier 23 #CC-6 sidetrack, where the Company holds a 27% working interest. This last discovery brings the total number of discoveries offshore in 2005 to 16 out of a total of 28 exploratory wells drilled. EPL's onshore south Louisiana exploratory program posted 12 discoveries in 16 wells in 2005.
The Company recently completed drilling its first exploratory well of 2006, the successful South Timbalier 23 #CC-4 sidetrack. EPL holds a 27% working interest in the well, which was drilled and completed from the same platform as the last well in 2005, the #CC-6 sidetrack. The Company is currently drilling a development well, the South Timbalier 41 #B-2, at its South Timbalier 41/42 complex, where the Company has six exploratory discoveries in six attempts. Lastly, an exploratory well is underway at East Bay testing the high potential Denali prospect. The Denali well, where EPL holds a 40% working interest, is currently drilling below 9,800 feet with a planned total depth of 18,500 feet. This first well is designed to test the shallower of two prospective horizons, known as the Tex W, with the deeper prospective horizon expected to be tested at a later date.
EPL also updated its estimates for 2006 production levels. For the first quarter of 2006, the Company expects production to average between 25,000 and 27,000 barrels of oil-equivalent (Boe) per day. While first quarter 2006 production levels are still forecast to be below pre-Hurricane Katrina levels, a significant portion of that shortfall is due to production that is still shut-in due to damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, essentially all of which is expected to be online by the end of the first quarter of 2006. For 2006 as a whole, EPL expects production to average between 28,000 and 30,000 Boe per day, which would represent an increase of approximately 25% to 35% over estimated 2005 production levels.
Richard A. Bachmann, EPL's Chairman and CEO, commented, "2005 was a challenging year for our Company and for our industry, with tropical weather impacting all exploration and production companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico. EPL's employees have faced both personal and professional adversity in the last several months, but their continuing hard work has enabled the Company to bounce back quickly, and we are poised for a great year in 2006. Our 2005 exploration and development program has paved the way for meaningful production growth in 2006, and the cash flow we expect to generate in the next twelve months will enable us to fund the largest capital budget in our history."
Richard A. Bachmann will hold a series of meetings with institutional investors in the coming week to outline the Company's strategy and outlook for 2006. An electronic copy of his presentation will be available on EPL's website.
Founded in 1998, EPL is an independent oil and natural gas
exploration and production company based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Company's operations are focused along the U. S. Gulf Coast, both
onshore in south Louisiana and offshore in the shallow to moderate
depth waters of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf.
- W&T Sells South Timbalier Stake to Energy Partners (May 15)
- Energy Partners Concludes Acquisition of GOM Properties (Feb 15)
- Energy Partners Regains Supplemental Waiver Status from MMS (May 03)