Unocal Adds GoM Leases in OCS Sale 190

Unocal is the apparent high bidder for interests in four tracts in the Central Gulf of Mexico OCS Lease Sale No. 190 conducted Wednesday by the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS).

The company, either on its own or with co-bidders, submitted apparent high bids amounting to approximately $32.5 million on four deepwater leases. (See table below for detailed bid information). The MMS is currently evaluating the high bids and will accept or reject the bids in the coming months.

Unocal currently holds an interest in 365 Gulf of Mexico leases including 230 deepwater exploratory leases, 72 shelf exploratory leases and 63 development leases.

"We're pleased to broaden Unocal's interests in two highly prospective areas," said Mike Bell, Unocal vice president, Gulf of Mexico exploration and appraisal. "We believe that these lease blocks will help us to build upon our recent exploratory successes at St. Malo in Walker Ridge and Puma in Green Canyon."

The results of Sale 190 bring Unocal's combined portfolio to 369 OCS leases in the Gulf of Mexico, if all bids are approved by the MMS.

     Apparent high bids by Unocal

        Area/Block              working interest  Gross Bid       Net Bid
     Green Canyon Block 327*            50%        $760,000      $380,000
     Green Canyon Block 512**           25%     $31,088,000    $7,772,000
     Green Canyon Block 856            100%        $312,076      $312,076
     Walker Ridge Block 361            100%        $310,760      $310,760

     *  Bid partner - Nexen Petroleum Offshore USA, Inc.
     ** Bid partners - Nexen Petroleum Offshore USA, Inc., BHP Billiton,