Moccasin Prospect Comes Up Dry

Murphy Oil Corporation announced that a well drilled at its deepwater Moccasin prospect in the Gulf of Mexico at Garden Banks Block 297 (37.5%) was unsuccessful. The well was drilled to a total measured depth of 20,447 feet. Pretax dry hole charges related to the well of approximately $15 million will be recognized in the first quarter of 2001. Shell Deepwater Development Inc.., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, owns a 50% working interest and operated the well; the remaining 12.5% working interest is held by Callon Petroleum Company.

Claiborne P. Deming, President and CEO of Murphy, commented, "Obviously, these results were not what we had envisioned, but one must not lose sight of the many good upstream initiatives now going on at Murphy. Earlier this year, we announced discoveries at the Front Runner prospect (37.5%) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and offshore Malaysia. We are still deepening the well at Front Runner and will then sidetrack downdip to get a full evaluation. Further drilling in Malaysia should occur in the second quarter, and we expect exploration in the promising play offshore Nova Scotia to commence this summer. Finally, drilling near our natural gas discoveries in the Ladyfern/Hamburg area in western Canada is proceeding full bore, and results are expected over the next couple of weeks."