Plains E&P sets $430 million capital budget

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 14 -- Plains Exploration & Production Co., Houston, has allocated $430 million for capital projects next year and approved a $500 million stock repurchase program funded with cash flow in excess of capital investments.

Plains E&P earmarked 55-60% of the 2006 capital budget for development and production of existing proved reserves, 20% for exploitation projects, and the rest for exploration, mainly in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico Lower Miocene trend.

The company plans to drill about 300 wells in California next year, 65-75% in the San Joaquin Valley and 25-35% in the Los Angeles basin.

The San Joaquin drilling includes development of existing tertiary recovery steamfloods and expansion and initial development of new primary recovery and steamflood projects. Los Angeles basin drilling will be concentrated in Inglewood oil field with a mix of shallow waterflood development wells and the expansion of deeper waterflood and primary recovery zones.

Plans for offshore California drilling include four wells in Point Pedernales oil field and an additional extended-reach well currently in progress in Rocky Point oil field.

In Louisiana, Plains E&P plans four to six Breton Sound exploitation wells, including some delayed by the 2005 hurricanes. Additional low-risk development wells will be drilled in Pakenham gas field in West Texas as well as some higher risk targeted prospects elsewhere in the state.

In the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Plains E&P expects four to eight wells to be drilled during 2006.

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