Woodside in Gulf of Mexico Alliance With Explore Enterprises

Woodside Energy (USA) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., has formed an alliance with Explore Enterprises of Louisiana LLC to jointly conduct exploration, acquisition, development and production activities in the United States Gulf of Mexico.

Under the agreement, Woodside and Explore Enterprises will jointly invest in the shelf and deep waters of the Gulf.

For each project, Woodside will hold 95% of the alliance's combined interests while Explore Enterprises will hold the remaining 5%. As part of the agreement, Explore Enterprises will also pay Woodside for a 5% interest in Woodside's existing leases in the Gulf, excluding Woodside's Neptune and Midway discoveries.

Explore Enterprises' interest in each project will increase from 5% to 12.5% after Woodside has recovered the present value of its invested capital in those projects.

The alliance is for five years and includes an option to extend for a further two years. The Explore Enterprises management team will be accountable to the board of Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. which is chaired by Woodside's Chief Executive Officer. The alliance will maintain offices in Houston, Texas, and Covington, Louisiana.

Woodside's Chief Executive Officer, Don Voelte, said the alliance was an important step in the development of Woodside's Gulf of Mexico business and its strategy to improve its competitive positioning in the region.

"It builds on our strategic objectives for the Gulf of Mexico by bringing an established and experienced management team to Woodside's Gulf business," Mr. Voelte said.

Woodside's Director of Exploration, Agu Kantsler, said the management of Explore Enterprises had more than 120 years of combined experience in building successful businesses in the Gulf of Mexico.

"We believe that the combination of this team with Woodside's technical expertise and substantial lease position will provide both companies with significant benefits," Dr Kantsler said.

The Chief Executive of Explore Enterprises, Bill Bethea, said Woodside had built an outstanding set of exploration assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

"We believe that our experience in the region will allow the alliance to unlock the full value of its existing asset base and build a substantial business during the term of the agreement," he said.