El Paso Receives Approval to Acquire Velvet Exploration

El Paso Corporation received final regulatory approval under the Investment Canada Act to acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Velvet Exploration Ltd. on July 23rd.

The Honorable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for Investment Canada, approved the transaction on the basis El Paso's investment is likely to benefit the Canadian economy.

El Paso's C$8.15 per share cash offer for all outstanding common shares of Velvet is scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on July 31, 2001. Holders of Velvet shares are urged to read the offer documents containing important information about El Paso and Velvet in the proposed transaction.