Ocean Energy High Bidder 17 GOM Blocks in Lease Sale 180

Ocean Energy, Inc. and partners were the apparent high bidders on 17 blocks in the Western U.S. Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 180 held August 22nd. The company's net total exposure for all high bids was approximately $6.3 million. The bids are subject to approval by the U.S. Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS).

"The deepwater leases are strategically located near blocks that are part of our existing exploratory holdings," said John Schiller, executive vice president - operations. "These additional blocks will strengthen our position in these areas as we continue our deepwater development and exploration activity."

Ocean will hold a 50 percent interest in 15 blocks, and a 30 and 100 percent interest, respectively, in two others. Ten blocks are located in the deepwater Garden Banks area located near Ocean's Red Hawk exploratory prospect that is currently drilling. Two blocks lie in the East Breaks area near the site of the Nansen and Boomvang fields that are under development by OEI and its partners. Other acreage includes four blocks in the Alaminos Canyon area, near the recently announced Trident discovery, and one in Keathley Canyon.

The new blocks will add 97,920 gross acres to the company's extensive holdings in the Gulf of Mexico and bring its total number of federal Gulf blocks to 508, including 301 in the deepwater.