EPL Announces Three Successful Wells in the Gulf of Mexico

Energy Partners, Ltd. announced three successful wells in the Gulf of Mexico. The wells are located at Eugene Island 142, South Timbalier 180, and High Island 55L. The Company also announced that a fourth exploratory well at High Island A-6 had been plugged and abandoned due to mechanical problems prior to reaching its objective.

The Eugene Island 142 #5 exploratory well was drilled as a straight hole to a depth of 19,316 feet and encountered over 80 net feet of apparent pay in three intervals below a depth of 17,000 feet. This well is located approximately 110 miles southwest of New Orleans in 48 feet of water. EPL owns a 17% working interest in the project. Walter Oil and Gas is the operator and owns a 22% working interest. The operator is currently completing the well and plans to tie it back to one of several existing platforms in the area. Production is expected to commence near mid-year 2004. The Company indicated that first quarter 2004 financial results would include a pre-tax charge of approximately $615,000 related to the drilling of the deeper portion of the hole that was determined to be noncommercial.

High Island 55L #5 was the third success in the Company's three-well program on the High Island 55L block, located approximately 65 miles east-southeast of Houston in 45 feet of water. The #5 well was drilled directionally to a measured depth of 8,455 feet (8,109 TVD) and encountered a total of 30 net feet of apparent oil pay in the two target objectives. EPL holds a 35% working interest in the project; Vintage Petroleum (NYSE:VPI), the operator, holds the remaining 65% working interest. The operator is currently installing a caisson, and production is expected in the first half of 2004.

The Company also announced an exploratory success at South Timbalier 180. The A-7 well was drilled directionally to a measured depth of 14,150 feet (10,627 TVD) from the South Timbalier 185 A platform and encountered 35 net feet of apparent natural gas pay in the objective interval. EPL is the operator and owns a 100% working interest in the project. The Company is presently preparing to complete the well and production is expected to commence in the first half of 2004.

Last week, the operator of a fourth well, High Island A-6 #4, announced that the well had encountered mechanical problems prior to reaching its objective and had been plugged and abandoned. EPL is currently in discussions with the operator on the merits of re-drilling the well in 2004. EPL holds a 17% working interest in the project and expects to realize a net dry hole expense of approximately $1.4 million (pre-tax) for the project, $1.1 million of which was included in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The Company also said that it had recently suspended its sidetrack well at East Cameron 378 and that the rig would soon be moving off location. The well operation successfully installed larger diameter casing through its first objective and confirmed the pay seen in the original well. The Company was not able to reach its deeper objective in the well and is currently evaluating options to deepen the well and test the second objective.

EPL currently has drilling operations underway on two locations: Eugene Island 277, and South Pass 42. Eugene Island 277 is an exploratory prospect that was spud last year. At South Pass 42, the Company has a rig sidetracking an existing well to develop proved reserves on the block. The Company expects to decision both of these wells in the first quarter of 2004.