Kerr-McGee High Bidder on 42 Blocks in GOM Lease Sale 180

Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp. and partners were the high bidders on 42 blocks in today's Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale 180. The company's net total exposure for all high bids was approximately $32 million. The bids are subject to approval by the U.S. Interior Department's Minerals Management Service.

"These new leases complement our existing prospect inventory in the deepwater gulf and fit our strategy to build core operating areas within high-potential trends," said Luke R. Corbett, Kerr-McGee chairman and chief executive officer. "We will operate 90% of these high-bid blocks with an average working interest of about 80%, allowing us to continue to enhance our successful exploration and development program."

Kerr-McGee is the largest independent leaseholder in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in the gulf's deep waters. With these additional blocks, Kerr-McGee will hold interests in 377 deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico and will operate more than 75% of these leases with an average working interest of 51%. Award of the 42 new blocks would increase the company's total leaseholdings in the gulf by 236,655 gross acres to nearly 3 million gross acres.