EPL Outlines 2003 Exploration Plans
Energy Partners' Board of Directors has approved a 2003 exploration and development expenditure program of approximately $90 million. This represents an increase of approximately 30% over the $70 million that was invested in similar projects in 2002. The Company said that it intends to fund its program with internally generated funds.
The drilling component of the budget includes a mixture of low risk, development and exploitation wells and higher risk, higher potential exploratory projects. At this time, EPL expects to invest approximately 65% of its budget in low risk exploitation and development activities, 25% in moderate risk exploration and 10% in higher potential, higher risk drilling. The 2003 budget includes funds for development of a number of the successful wells it drilled under its 2002 drilling program. While the Company continues to pursue acquisitions of properties in its Gulf of Mexico focus area, it does not establish a budget for such acquisitions.
Richard A. Bachmann, EPL's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "We are very excited about our 2003 investment plans and believe we have the right team of people to build upon the success we had in 2002. We have a large slate of exciting exploratory prospects ready to drill within our existing property base and we are also actively generating new opportunities internally and with our partners in the Central Gulf of Mexico Shelf region."
Bachmann continued, "We remain committed to funding our capital program with internally generated funds and will continue to maintain a flexible approach to our spending plans to assure that we achieve that goal. However, with the increase in production volumes we are anticipating from our successful drilling program in 2002 and the benefits of improved commodity prices, we are very comfortable that we will be able to fund this much-expanded program."