EPL's two most recent exploratory successes were West Cameron 3 #1, known as Prairie Beach, and West Cameron 176 #13. The company holds a 25-percent working interest in both of these moderate potential wells, and production from each well is expected by the end of the year. To date in 2006, EPL has four discoveries in four exploratory tests.
The company also has four exploratory wells currently drilling, including three high potential wells at West Cameron 202 #1, Denali in East Bay, and Mississippi Canyon 204 #1 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. EPL has one exploratory well underway in South Louisiana.
For the first quarter of 2006, the company said it expects production to average between 22,500 and 23,500 Boe per day, lower than previously anticipated. The primary factors contributing to the reduced expectations for production were delays in availability of crews and equipment to commence production from non-operated 2005 exploratory successes, mechanical problems delaying the completion of a development well in the South Timbalier 41 field, continued delays in repairs to third party infrastructure, and higher-than-anticipated weather-related downtime in the first three months of the year. EPL said that production guidance for 2006 as a whole would not be revised.
"The two exploratory successes announced today combined with the two other discoveries since January 1 are a great start to our 2006 exploratory program," said Richard A. Bachmann, EPL's chairman and CEO. "We expect the three high-potential wells currently drilling to jump start the high potential portion of our portfolio, which will be a good complement to the success we have already had in the moderate potential portion of our portfolio."
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