El Paso: 44% Increase in Risked Unproved Resources

El Paso reported that as of December 31, 2009, it had 5.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe) of estimated total risked unproved resources, or 8.9 Tcfe unrisked, in addition to its 2.75 Tcfe of proved natural gas and oil reserves. The company's risked total unproved resources rose approximately 1.6 Tcfe, or 44 percent, from year-end 2008 levels. The majority of the increase was due to
the addition of extensive drilling opportunities in the Haynesville Shale and Eagle Ford Shale programs. Unproved resources and proved reserves include the company's proportionate share of Four Star Oil & Gas Company and represent the company's net interest.

The corporation's future drilling inventory, which includes proved undeveloped reserves, is approximately 6.0 Tcfe of risked resource
potential, or almost 6,000 drilling locations. At current activity levels, this represents more than 10 years of drilling inventory.

"One of our key goals for 2009 was to expand our unproved resource base, which, in turn, provides opportunities for future proved
reserves and production growth. Not only were we successful, but we added significant new resources in some of the most economically advantaged natural gas plays in North America," said Brent Smolik, president of El Paso Exploration & Production Company.

A breakout of net unproved resources (risked/unrisked) is as follows:

  • Unconventional - 2,475/3,620 Bcfe -- Unconventional resources primarily consist of the company's Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale plays and coal bed methane operations in the Raton, Black Warrior and Arkoma Basins.
  • Conventional, low-risk - 2,045/2,645 Bcfe -- This consists of conventional resources in the Altamont Field, other Rockies programs, south Texas, and Brazil development programs. It also includes tight-sand drilling in the ArkLaTex area.
  • Conventional, higher-risk - 600/2,635 Bcfe -- This includes higher-risk exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas Gulf Coast, and undrilled international exploration prospects in Brazil and Egypt.