Shell to purchase offshore block stakes

Shell Offshore Inc. agreed to buy McMoRan Exploration Co.'s 35% interest in Brazos Block A-19 field and its 50% interest in the unexplored Brazos Block A-26 for $70 million.


Shell Offshore Inc. agreed to buy McMoRan Exploration Co.'s 35% interest in Brazos Block A-19 field and its 50% interest in the unexplored Brazos Block A-26 for $70 million.

McMoRan's Brazos A-19 JC No. 1 well was damaged during the early production phase in November 1999 after producing 84 MMcfd of gas for 1 month. Attempts to repair the well were unsuccessful, and the well was subsequently plugged and abandoned.

Shell, the operator of the block, plans to drill a new well on Brazos A-19 in the near future.

McMoRan said in a statement that it will also continue to pursue its rights for recovery under its business interruption insurance policy.

The Brazos blocks are in the western Gulf of Mexico, 75 miles south of Galveston, Tex. The sale, which is subject to the execution of definitive agreements and approval by the directors of both companies, is expected to close within 30 days.

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