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Energy XXI, ExxonMobil sign gulf exploration venture

Houston independent Energy XXI agreed to acquire certain shallow-water Gulf of Mexico interests from ExxonMobil Corp., and the two companies also entered an exploration joint venture in the gulf.

The acquisition covers 5,000 gross acres on Vermilion Block 164, currently producing 1,100 boe/d net, Energy XXI said. The asset has produced 44 million boe since its discovery in 1957.

In the oil-focused JV, Energy XXI and ExxonMobil plan to explore for oil and gas on nine contiguous blocks adjacent to Vermilion Block 164 in shallow water on the shelf.

Energy XXI will operate the venture and serve as operator for the initial prospect, Pendragon. Drilling is expected to start by yearend.

The independent has completed five acquisitions totaling $2.5 billion since its founding in October 2005. Its assets are in the gulf offshore Louisiana and onshore along the Gulf Coast.

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