Ocean Energy Increases Interest in Block 24 Offshore Angola

Ocean Energy increased its stake in Block 24 offshore Angola to 40 percent and will assume operatorship following the drilling of the Varina North well. The concession area is located approximately 200 miles from Luanda, near Block 10 in which it owns a 35% stake. James Hackett, chairman, president and CEO of Ocean Energy said that this will increase the commitment of the company in a strategic country for its international exploration and development program.

The Ocean Energy's subsidiary, Ocean Angola Corporation, acquired the 25% stake and operatorsship from Esso Exploration and Production Angola (block 24) limited. Two well have already been drilled in the area and the Semba Well is scheduled for early 2003.