Noble Affiliates Announces Exploration Agreement with McMoRan Oil and Gas

Noble Affiliates, Inc.(NYSE: NBL) today announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Samedan Oil Corporation, has entered into an exploration alliance in the Gulf of Mexico with McMoRan Exploration Co. Samedan has committed to participate with a 25 percent working interest in six of the seven specific prospects as identified below.

Prospect Location

(Offshore Blocks)

Vermilion 195/196/207
Eugene Island 96/97/109-Shallow
Eugene Island 96/97/109-Deep
Vermilion 144/145
West Delta 1/12/13/Grand Isle 2
Louisiana State Lease 340
Garden Banks 272

Additionally, Samedan has agreed to work with McMoRan in identifying future prospects on the approximately 660,000 acres accumulated by McMoRan in previously announced transactions with Shell Offshore Inc. and Texaco, Inc. Samedan has the right to participate in the future prospects.

Samedan's share of estimated costs for the committed exploration prospects is approximately $25 million. A well is presently drilling on Vermilion 195/196/207 prospect and the remaining prospects are expected to be drilled in the near term.

The estimated gross unrisked potential of the committed exploration prospects exceeds two trillion cubic feet of gas.

"We are enthused about our exploration alliance with McMoRan in the Gulf of Mexico," said Robert Kelley, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Noble Affiliates, Inc. "It gives us exposure to significant gas reserve potential and an excellent acreage inventory to be evaluated by the Samedan and McMoRan exploration teams."

In a joint statement, James R. Moffett and Richard C. Adkerson, co-chairmen of McMoRan stated, "We are highly pleased to form this alliance with Samedan. Our companies have a long-standing business relationship and share a common philosophy in assessing exploration opportunities. In addition to Samedan's participation in the financial investment provided by our near-term exploration prospects, McMoRan will benefit from Samedan's exploration expertise in identifying and drilling future prospects from our acreage inventory."

Noble Affiliates, Inc. is an independent energy company with exploration and production operations throughout major basins in the United States, including the Gulf of Mexico, as well as international operations primarily in Argentina, China, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea. Its common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "NBL."

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this news release, including, without limitation, estimates of gas reserves, are forward-looking statements.

Such statements may be affected by various factors and are subject to numerous risks such as the accuracy of the assumptions that underlie the statements. Certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the company's business are set forth in the filings of the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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