Murphy To Begin Drilling At Sepang Field Offshore Malaysia

Murphy Oil Corp. plans to begin drilling its first exploratory well in the Sepang field located offshore Sarawak Block SK 309 later this week. The company completed drilling its fourth well, which is one of the last appraisal wells on the West Patricia site located in Block SK 309 offshore Sarawak, January 22nd after an "operational problem" forced the company off the site in November last year. Results of the appraisal well on West Patricia are under review and findings should be announced shortly. This is one of the last appraisal wells that will be drilled before a recommendation is made on development.

In November, Murphy was forced to move the drilling rig off the West Patricia site after a diverter incident. The company began drilling an exploratory well November 28th and completed the program December 16th.

The well flowed 2,900 barrels a day of sweet crude with 37 degree API from a well test conducted on West Patricia in January last year. The crude from West Patricia is equivalent to Indonesia's medium sweet Minas grade crude, which has a 35 degree API. Murphy has submitted a development plan for the offshore Sarawak West Patricia site to Petronas. Announcements about the development program should be released in March if the results of this appraisal well are successful. If all goes according to plan, production could start as early as December 2002.